1. Section Editor(s): Lewis, Deborah EdD, RN, MPH

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In this issue of ANI Connections we are pleased to feature the AMIA NIWG and provide a nursing informatics report from the recent AMIA Annual Symposium held October 22-26, 2005 in Washington DC.


The AMIA NIWG is one of the 20 nursing organizations that are members of ANI. The NIWG currently has 520 members. The mission of this nursing informatics organization is to promote the advancement of nursing informatics within the larger multidisciplinary context of health informatics.


The organization and its members pursue this goal through promoting research, providing educational opportunities, integrating informatics and education in practice, fostering collaborative relationships nationally and internationally, and giving a national and international voice within nursing and the interdisciplinary world of health care informatics.



Congratulations are in order for the following NIWG members who were elected to serve on the 2006 NIWG leadership team. They will join current chair Kathleen A. McCormick, Chair 2006-2007 and Connie Delaney, Past Chair and 2006 AMIA Board Liaison. Newly elected NIWG leadership team members are:


Deborah Lewis, Chair Elect 2006-2010


Judith Effken, Secretary 2006-2008


Anna McDaniel, Member-at-Large 2006-2008


Susan Newbold, Member at Large 2005-2007


Carol Bickford, Member at Large 2006


Annelle Tanner, ICIRN Representative


Lisa Trigg, Student Representative 2006


Suzanne Bakken, IMIA NI SIG representative 2006


Michele Norton, AMIA Membership Committee Liaison


Judy Murphy, AMIA Board Liaison 2006



For more information or to become a member of AMIA NIWG you can visit the NIWG website at



During the recent AMIA annual symposium the AMIA NIWG held the annual business meeting to share the group's accomplishments for 2005 and to set strategic goals for 2006. The following initiatives were highlighted and demonstrate the impact that the AMIA NIWG is making on the future of nursing and healthcare informatics.



Fall 2004 a group of nurse informaticists (including AMIA NIWG leaders) met to discuss nursing's role in the national health informatics agenda. This group, the TIGER Team, proposed an invitational two day summit that would bring together key informatics stakeholders. The intention of the summit is to introduce the significance of the call for informatics practice and education changes as outlined by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The summit will produce a report of its findings and guidelines to be disseminated to the healthcare community, policy makers, educators and practitioners. The prospectus for the 2006 Nursing Informatics Futures Conference has been approved by the Institute of Medicine.



The Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel has been formed to facilitate the harmonization of standards needed to enable the widespread interoperability of healthcare information in the United States. Comprised of a wide range of stakeholders, the Panel will assist in the development of the U.S. Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) by addressing issues such as privacy and security within a shared healthcare information system.


The Panel is sponsored by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in cooperation with strategic partners including the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Funding for the Panel is being provided via the ONCHIT1 contract award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


The ANI Steering committee recommended NIWG member Charlotte Weaver to serve on the panel. Congratulations to Charlotte and thank you to her for her willingness to represent nursing on this very important national initiative.



Bonnie Westra is leading an initiative to compile the history of NI in the United States. As part of that initiative NI pioneers have been identified and are being interviewed and asked to submit materials of historic significance. Bonnie completed 16 interviews during AMIA 2005. Support for this project has been provided through a $500 grant received from the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Informatics Expert Panel. Additional funding is being sought through a National Library of Medicine proposal submission.



The NI Expert Panel of AAN has received approval for an ongoing 1,500 word "column" in Nursing Outlook to increase knowledge of informatics outside our discipline; topics and authors have been identified for the next 18 months. Roy Simpson is coordinating this effort.



A key 2006 strategic initiative for the NIWG includes developing a nursing informatics research agenda. Anna McDaniel, Patti Brennan and Carol Bickford will convene a task force to identify and advance a research agenda for nursing informatics. Goals include developing a concept paper for a 2006 AMIA panel involving both NIWG members and funding agencies.



Future NIWG meetings will be held during the Spring AMIA Meeting in Phoenix AZ May 16-18, 2006 and during the Fall 2006 AMIA Symposium November 11-15, 2006 in Washington DC.



One highlight of the AMIA Annual Meeting is the presentation of annual awards. This year three awards honored achievements in nursing informatics. The Virginia K. Saba Informatics Award, the NIWG Student Award and the Harriet H. Werley Award.


Virginia K. Saba Informatics Award

Virginia Saba was honored as the first recipient of the Virginia K. Saba Informatics Award. This award recognizes a distinguished career with significant impact permeating the care of patients and the discipline of nursing. Among the criteria for nomination, the recipient has demonstrated the use of informatics to transform patient care; visionary leadership; goal impact; enduring contribution to professional practice, education, administration, research, and/or health policy; and a commitment to AMIA demonstrated through membership.


Virginia Saba has pioneered the integration of computer technology in the nursing profession for over 30 years, including her work in establishing the Clinical Care Classification (CCC) System. She has been instrumental in the development of the nursing informatics profession through her scholarship, leadership and mentoring of other nurse informaticians.


Dr. Saba received the title of Distinguished Scholar from Georgetown University School of Nursing (GUSON) in 1997. During her 15 year tenure in the GUSON she taught and integrated computer technology in the graduate and undergraduate programs. She has conducted federally funded research focusing on the classification of nursing care in the home care setting and has published and presented her work to national and international groups of healthcare professionals. Dr. Saba has helped to shape the direction of nursing and healthcare informatics through her participation on health care policy committees and panels. She continues to serve as an informatics consultant, leader and mentor.


The Virginia K. Saba Informatics Award was presented at the AMIA 2005 Annual Symposium during the AMIA 2005 Leadership Dinner on Saturday, October 22, 2005 at The Cosmos Club in Northwest Washington, DC.


Nursing Informatics Working Group Student Award

Honors a student who demonstrates excellence in nursing informatics and who has the potential to contribute significantly to the discipline of nursing and health informatics. The AMIA 2005 Nursing Informatics Working Group Student Award winner:


Predicting the Likelihood of Falls among the Elderly Using Likelihood Basis Pursuit Technique. Kanittha Volrathongchai, School of Nursing Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand


The Harriet H. Werley Award

Presented to the paper presented at the AMIA Annual Symposium with a nurse as first author that is judged to make the greatest contribution to advancing the field of nursing informatics. The candidate papers are recommended by the AMIA Annual Symposium Scientific Program Committee, and the selection of the recipient is made by a special committee within the AMIA Nursing Informatics Working Group.


The AMIA 2005 Harriet H. Werley Award winner:


Promoting Safe Nursing Care By Bringing Visibility to the Disciplinary Aspects of Interdisciplinary Care. G. M. Keenan, School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; and E. Yakel, School of Information, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI



The AMIA Annual Meeting is always an exciting time to learn about current research, network, and share information with friends and colleagues in informatics. This year's meeting was attended by 1,885 informaticians from across the world. For nurse informaticians one highlight of the meeting was the AMIA 2005 Nursing Informatics Symposium. In addition to the symposium there were over 30 peer-reviewed scientific presentations first-authored by nurses at this year's annual meeting. The conference proceedings and audiotapes of the AMIA 2005 are available from AMIA at



The Nursing Symposium, IT Innovations: Transforming Today's Nursing Practice, was a great success with 118 participants. The day-long event was held on Saturday, October 22, 2005 and was hosted by the AMIA NIWG and co-sponsored by ANI and HIMSS.


This special event brought together leading nurse informatics specialists from all over the country to discuss relevant and pressing issues in nursing practice. The day revolved around presentations addressing innovations in nursing informatics and strategies to evaluate its successful use. Presenters for this symposium represented a variety of educational institutions, healthcare organizations, and industry vendors.


The morning session included a presentation describing the role of technology in addressing Maryland's nursing shortage by Susan Newbold and Barbara Covington. Other speakers focused on innovative solutions to address nursing practice concerns through presentations that included a discussion of PDAs in nursing education by Renee P. McLeod; BidShift, a web-based staffing technology, by Kathy Douglas; VISICU, electronic ICU technology, by Cynthia S. Gregory; and Vocera Communications, a wearable instant voice communication system, by Christine C. Gamlen.


The afternoon session included a session titled "Methods & Tools to Evaluate the Impact of IT on Practice" by Tom Clancy and Martha Martin; and an Impact Presentation, "Using Technology: Making Evidence-based Practice a Reality" provided by Judy Murphy, Cindy Brown, and Patricia S. Button.