1. Parker, Cheryl D. PhD, RN-BC, CNE

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Disaster preparedness in nursing has often focused on severe weather or natural disasters specific to geographic or regional areas. For example, those in Texas are prepared for hurricanes and tornadoes, whereas those in Washington are likely prepared for earthquakes. Many prepare for multiple trauma events such as train wrecks, which might involve multiple healthcare facilities and county services. However, disaster preparedness continues to evolve, especially in 2020, as we face a pandemic for which many were not prepared.


The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has continued to unfold globally. This pandemic quickly overwhelmed health systems in separate parts of the US and eventually rippled across the country. The lag time between the first healthcare systems affected and other areas of the country allowed providers to apply evidence-based knowledge as it was compiled.


Nurses continue to respond to this pandemic in various and innovative ways. One example of an inventive and creative response is evident in informatics, where leaders across the US recently came together to share experiences gained in a time when there was scant evidence to guide practice. The purpose of this article is to share the story of one such effort.


Specialists within the nursing informatics community worked together to develop the "Clinical Informatics Resources for COVID-19" Web site. This site was born of the need and desire to share information by nurses and clinicians handling health information technology and nursing/clinical informatics challenges related to COVID-19. The site was developed by members of the nursing informatics community; the team comprised members from the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Expert Panel on Informatics and Technology (Washington, DC), the American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA), American Medical Informatics Association Nursing Informatics Working Group, and the Alliance for Nursing Informatics (ANI). The site is sponsored and supported by ANIA and ANI.


Patricia Sengstack, DNP, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FAAN, sought help and assistance from ANIA to facilitate communication about how experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center addressed information needs and support with regard to COVID-19. A decision to share information through a video interview was made. Others heard about the idea and wanted to join in the information sharing. Susan McBride, PhD, RN-BC, CPHIMS, from the AAN Expert Panel on Informatics and Technology, asked if ANIA could work together with their team as they had created this site to disseminate information about what facilities are doing about the COVID-19 crisis from an informatics and technology viewpoint.


The ANIA Board of Directors supported this collaborative effort. Later, I was honored to join Susan McBride, Rosemary Kennedy, Judy Murphy, Jane Carrington, Liz Johnson, and Mollie Cummins to discuss how we could pool our efforts and use a large professional specialty organization such as ANIA could support the work.


By early April 2020, I had recorded our first ANIA "Nursing Informatics Experts Interview" with Patty Sengstack and Karen Hughart. The video was processed, and five more interviews were scheduled the following week. Soon after, we launched this sharing-of-knowledge initiative. I and the members of ANIA are so proud of the fast work of combining the two visions into a single reality in less than a week. This collaborative group has shared 12 video interviews, multiple blog posts, and several standard operating procedures, as well as other resources.


As the moderator for the video interviews, I have been privileged to learn from each person I interviewed. Several themes emerged from our discussions:


* Health systems quickly went from telehealth visits being a novelty to the main method of providing care in a matter of days.


* Communication technology is being used in innovative ways to connect individuals, such as staff nurses and patients, to reduce exposure and conserve personal protective equipment.


* Documentation burden went from discussion to reality as facility slashed documentation requirements to the bare minimum needed to provide safe care and meet new regulatory and accreditation requirements.



Many lessons will be gained from this pandemic. It will be critical for each of us individually as well as at the organization and community levels to reflect on this experience and work to improve healthcare and self-care.


Visit the "Clinical Informatics Resources for COVID-19" site at


Resources for COVID-19 are available at, as are podcasts of interviews.


Video interviews can be found on YouTube via this link:


Contact Dr Parker at for questions.