1. Lyon, Lisa MS, RN, CDE

Article Content

The value of nurses in healthcare is evident everywhere you look. Additionally, the value of nurses in healthcare information technology is strong and becoming stronger every day. The theme of the 2018 Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Nursing Informatics Symposium held in Las Vegas, NV, was "Demonstrate Nursing Value Through Health Information and Technology." Fourteen posters were displayed as part of the Nursing Informatics Symposium ( Posters are a great way to share project information in a clear and concise manner. Poster presentations at the HIMSS Nursing Symposium are always informative and offer opportunity for nurses to showcase their work. The poster topics varied with several demonstrating research conducted at healthcare facilities.


Improving patient care by streamlining processes was a theme shared by many presenters. One poster, "Simplifying Access to Health Information Exchange Data to Improve Patient Care" from St Joseph Mercy, in Ann Arbor, MI, demonstrated how nurses connected data from several facilities within a close geographical area to improve patient care. The poster described results of provider satisfaction by decreasing a delay in data access. Presenters plan to expand this and utilize the findings to further optimize data available to health facility staff.


The poster "Using Technology to Prevent Lab Draw Errors" was created by a nurse informaticist from the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey. This poster described a project that began 1 year before implementation. The project aim was related to reducing laboratory draw errors. Authors acknowledged that although their laboratory draw error rate was low, any incident was unacceptable and could be avoided. A barcode positive identification system was implemented to correctly identify the patient and match them with the order, label, and specimen. They noted marked improvement within the first quarter of implementation and plan to implement the same system for blood products in the future.


In keeping with the goal of improving patient care and results, presenters from Columbia University School of Nursing, titled "Validation of an Inspiring Innovation to Improve Patient Outcomes," demonstrated the need to improve the frequency of hourly rounding and bedside shift report as part of the conclusions. Authors shared plans for future studies to illuminate factors that contribute to hourly rounding and bedside shift report as well as patient-related outcomes such as falls. Authors recognized ongoing studies should also give insight into the validity of technology and information about the time and intensity of nursing interactions with patients. This is valuable work as disruptive technology is constantly implemented, replacing other technologies in healthcare facilities around the world.


Nurses from the University of California, Los Angeles Health gave a presentation titled "Nursing Informaticist Contributions to a Successful Upgrade" describing the importance of using nursing informatics staff throughout the entire process to ensure success. The project presented described a system upgrade conducted biannually. Nursing informaticists spent many hours over a 9-month period working on the upgrade and were involved in system analysis and design, administration, coordination, consultation, and many other levels during the progression. The results of this project concluded in a successful upgrade with no major incidents.


Other posters presented included specialty projects for an oncology care model and another for improving charge capture. Data analytics was the topic of various HIMSS sessions including a poster on "Data Analytics and Coaching." Other presentation topics included adaptability, quality and safety, per diem pain reassessments, and patient portals.


The Nursing Informatics Symposium is worthwhile and offers an exciting opportunity to see new ideas brought to life. Consider submitting a poster for the 2019 HIMSS Nursing Symposium. Now is the time to begin planning your exhibition for the next HIMSS Global Conference and Exhibition, to be held in Orlando, FL, in February 2019. If you are not part of the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Community (, we encourage you to become a part of it. Through the community you will be kept informed on timely topics related to nursing informatics. In addition, information about upcoming conferences and conference deadlines including poster abstract due dates will be shared. The posters that were submitted as a PDF for this year can be viewed on the HIMSS18 Web site, under the "Preconference Poster Sessions" tab (Figure 1).

Figure 1 - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE 1. Preconference poster sessions-HIMSS site.