1. Chen, Chien MS-NI, BSN, RN-BC, PMHN, NE-BC
  2. Pongco, Trisha CAHIMS

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The theme of the HIMSS19 Nursing Informatics Symposium in Orlando, FL, was "Beyond the EHR: Changing Care Models, Changing Roles." The agenda consisted of six dynamic and diverse presentations highlighting the evolution of the field of nursing informatics. Whereas the last decade focused on the implementation and optimization of electronic health records (EHRs), nurses specializing in informatics today have much broader roles and areas of specialization in maximizing the use of information, technology, and analytics to drive care delivery transformation and pursuit of the quadruple aim. In addition to optimizing nursing documentation, the specialty of nursing informatics has been recognized as essential in identifying the tools, processes, and roles to positively affect care coordination and care experience.


Robin Newhouse, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, kicked off the Nursing Informatics Symposium with an opening keynote presentation that highlighted nurses' changing and unique role in care coordination. Care coordination not only has a positive impact on payment reform, quality care, and interoperability, but also can enhance the care experience for patients and their families. Dr. Newhouse challenged nurses to "Lead the way in care coordination" for the 21st century, in which healthcare consumers are focused on convenience and access to information and services along the entire care continuum.


Susan Hassmiller, RN, PhD, FAAN, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, delivered an insightful closing keynote speech that received a standing ovation. She offered a personal reflection based on the true story of her husband's experience after a severe accident and her immediate move to the role of patient's family as she observed the impact the EHR had on quality of care. She reflected that the shift to the EHR forced care providers to focus on technology, paperwork, meeting metrics, and the ultimate aim of efficiency and proficiency in performing tasks. However, this emphasis on electronic documentation and tasks shifted the focus away from compassion, in the patient's perspective. She quickly realized that a great nurse and care provider must be efficient, proficient, and compassionate while maximizing the use of innovation and technology to improve the care experience. Nurses play a vital role as leaders and role models for this new face of care experience beyond the EHR.


In conjunction with the Nursing Informatics Symposium, several poster presentation sessions were showcased. Poster presenters shared their research on topics that currently hold high value in the nursing informatics realm. Using storyboards, graphics, charts, and other eye-catching methods, these posters gave conference attendees the opportunity to learn through visual means about useful tools and successful case studies. To foster the evolution of nursing informatics, a total of 14 posters were presented during the symposium. Examples of posters that resonated with the symposium's theme were Preventing Blood Transfusion Errors in the Operating Room: Redesigning the Patient Identification Process by Ann Lockhart, MN, RN-BC, AVP, and Andrea Thibodeaux, BSN, RN-BC, both of the Center for Quality Excellence, Ochsner Health System. This poster examined barcode scanning of blood products in the operating room to ensure consistency in positive patient identification and reduce the risk of transfusion errors all the while ensuring that a multidisciplinary group, including a nursing team, was involved. Another poster presentation, Nursing Informatics: Collaboration Across Sites by Cassie Marcelle, MSN, RN-BC, UF Health Shands, and Curtis Warden, MSN, RN, CEN, CHTS-CP, UF Health Jacksonville, looked at two hospital systems with the same EHR and how nursing informatics improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the EHR for patients despite the distance, different policies, and different executive leadership between the two systems.


As expectations continue to evolve in the 21st century, the quality of the care experience is no longer considered something nice to do but has become an expectation. It is a tangible yet practical commitment that results in both immediate and long-lasting organizational impacts. It is important to focus on both caregivers and patients by creating a healthy work environment and a positive patient care environment. Moving beyond the EHR requires an evolved understanding of the integration of care coordination and care experience alongside technology. As nurses and nursing informaticists, we are at the forefront of change and we must lead the way to transform healthcare. Our successes exemplify how organizations can maximize the use of technology and innovation without affecting the importance of the human connection. Together, we will move organizations beyond the EHR. More information about the Nursing Informatics Symposium and posters can be found at