1. Delaney, Connie White PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, FNAP
  2. Weaver, Charlotte A. PhD, RN, FHIMSS, FAAN
  3. Co-Chair

Article Content

The 2017 Big Data Science Summit marked the fifth consecutive year that a committed community of nursing leaders from all sectors met with experts across interprofessional practice, education, policy, and industry to share impact and envision even bolder futures for health and healthcare. Participants are consistently energized by the shared vision of better health outcomes resulting from the standardization and integration of the information nurses gather in electronic health records and other information systems, and contextual data, including environmental, geographical, behavioral, imaging, and more. The participants and work group members are energized by knowing these visions for sharable and comparable data will lead to breakthroughs for the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations.


The fifth annual Nursing Knowledge: Big Data Science Conference brought together more than 150 professionals from academia, practice, research, information technology, and health systems and standards organizations from across the nation. Similar to past years, the conference also convened active work groups that met throughout the year to advance multiple aspects of the National Action Plan for advancing nursing knowledge.


Conference participants share a goal of achieving health improvements and efficiencies that will come from ensuring that nursing data are captured in electronic health records and other sources and that the data are available in sharable and comparable formats supporting useful, actionable insights by clinicians, researchers, policy makers, and patients.


The preconference offered participants expertise and discussions in three tracks: clinical decision support and quality reporting, care coordination, and big data research. Within each of these tracks, presentations focused on the health policy issues, essential data to support nurses and interprofessional partners, and exemplars of successful implementations.


Rebecca Freeman, PhD, RN, FAAN, PMP, chief nursing officer of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the US Department of Health and Human Services, delivered an inspiring keynote address. She stressed that nurses and informaticists must recognize the importance of adopting widely accepted standardized languages and software systems. Thomas Clancy, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, presented a look into the future of healthcare based on emerging technology, Internet of Things, and the use of robotics in care delivery. He stressed the importance for nurses to inform the design of these technologies, especially robotics and data capture, to ensure patient safety and outcomes.



Given that this is the fifth year of the Big Data/Nursing Knowledge initiative, the 10 working groups (WGs) that formed around the themes identified as needing focused work produced a tremendous body of work. This is the list of WGs and their cochairs:


* WG1 Care Coordination-Lori Popejoy and Mary Hook


* WG2 Clinical Data Analytics-Martha Sylvia and Bonnie Westra


* WG3 Context of Care-Amber Oliver and Barbara Caspers


* WG4 Nursing Informatics Education-Marisa Wilson and LeVern Manos


* WG5 Encoding and Modeling-Susan Matney and Tess Settergren


* WG6 Engage Nurses in Health IT Policy-Joyce Sensmeier and Kari Ballou


* WG7 Mobile Health for Nursing-Christie Martin and Lily Tunby


* WG8 Demonstrating/Measuring Nursing Value-John Welton and Ellen Harper


* WG9 Social Determinants of Health-Erin Maughan and Susan Hull


* WG10 Transforming Nursing Documentation-David Boyd and Shannon Hulett



The 2017 conference proceedings are available at These proceedings report the detailed accomplishments of each WG, as well as the targeted goals for 2017-2018. While seven of the WGs have been fully operational from the first conference 5 years ago, three new groups have emerged to address important areas called out by conference participants. These include Care Coordination, Mobile Health for Nursing, and Social Determinants of Health. There are strong interdependencies between the work groups with significant collaboration and coordination in order to maximize and leverage overlapping work and avoid duplication. Throughout the year, Bonnie Westra and Lisiane Pruinelli provide the governance support to the WG leaders to help in this coordination and hold monthly calls with updates from all as the key mechanism to enable this close collaboration. A number of WGs identify partner WGs that they work with throughout the year as part of the formal work plan.


In the year between the 2016 and 2017 conferences, the work groups generated more than 40 publications in refereed and online journals and more than 25 national and international conference presentations. In addition to the collaboration across the WGs, a theme evident in each work group's report was the extent of networking, information gathering and sharing, and collaborative work with national organizations, such as the American Nurses Association, the American Medical Informatics Association, the American Academy of Nursing, the Health Information Management Systems Society, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the National Quality Forum, and the American Association of Medical Groups.


In addition, two groups submitted successful grant applications. The Nursing Value WG under the leadership of John Welton and Ellen Harper submitted an R03 application to Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research to fund pilot study for LA Children's hospital, reviewed and received priority of 10, and anticipate funding summer of 2017. In addition, it submitted a grant application to the University of Colorado Data to Value for funding to setup infrastructure to build a nursing value data repository. A subgroup of the Transforming Nursing Documentation WG that formed around establishing a national repository for nursing best practices documentation tools, measures, data, and data standards successfully received funding and resource support from the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository under the Sigma Theta Tau International. This effort was led by Jane Carrington, Judy Effken, and Charlotte Weaver.



To help bring to life the vibrancy of how the WGs have and are working together to effect change and bold improvements, we would like to share the example of Population Health. Within the world of Population Health is the direct, detailed work involving Care Collaboration, Clinical Care Analytics, and Encoding and Modeling. The modeling and testing work done within each WG's efforts has dependencies on the others, as reflected in the 2017 accomplishments cited by Clinical Care Analytics:


* Developed and used FloMap software for validation of the Pain Information Model.


* Validated the Pain Information Model across 10 organizations: University of Minnesota School of Nursing/Fairview Health Services, Partners Healthcare Systems, Kaiser Permanente, UCLA Health, Aurora Health Care, Duke University Health System, Cedars-Sinai Health System, Allina Health, North Memorial Medical Center, and Bumrungrad International.


* Developed a repeatable process for validation of additional data-derived information models.


* Initiated an article on the process and results of the Pain Information Model.



The Care Collaboration WG identified Pain Management as a problem that crosses all settings, with residence primarily in community. The Encoding and Modeling WG focuses on the standardization and structural vocabulary work that provides the concepts and language needed by the Clinical Care Analytics group to do their work on Pain, and in turn, this body of work informs the work of other groups, such as Nursing Informatics Education, Social Determinants of Health, and Transforming Nursing Documentation. To see all of these exciting and mind-binding works come to life, we invite you to engage with one of these work groups and to attend the 2018 conference as an active participant. We guarantee you will not leave unchanged!


The impact of this community of dedicated experts, with "doer passion," is a true testament to the continuous invitation to create space for dreaming, imagining, and cocreation of actions with unwavering commitment to the people and communities we serve. The impact of this community of dedicated experts is a testament to the power of teamwork and unbridled sharing of expertise. We invite you to join this passionate, expert, committed community for the 2018 Big Data conference, which will be held on June 13 to 15, 2018, at the University of Minnesota.