1. Perry, William MA, RN

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The Internet has brought the spirit of global communication and collaboration to nurses and other healthcare professionals in ways never before thought possible. These resources are offered to expand your opportunities for discussion, reference, education and research.


The 26th Annual International Nursing Computer and Technology Conference was held last June 4 to 7, 2008, at Bally's Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Good attendance, great speakers, and wonderful weather made it a delightful time. Ramona Nelson, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, was the recipient of the Recognition Award for the Advancement of Computer Technology in Healthcare, a well-deserved recognition for someone who has been involved in informatics and has touched many lives in her career. While Ramona will be retiring from active teaching, she will still be very busy consulting and writing.


There were four outstanding keynote speakers. All spoke of the evolution of clinical computing and the need for clinician education as well as the need to adapt technology to the workflow of nurses.


The Opening Plenary Session speaker was Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN, who is vice president for informatics at HIMSS. She spoke on the "Tiger Initiative: Implications for Nursing Service and Nursing Education." Two Web sites of note are the Tiger Summit ( and the accompanying SIG wiki ( Joyce spoke of the need to codify and promote informatics competencies in nursing students, faculty, and staff.


Janet Grady, DrPH, RN, spoke on "Using Innovations in Technology to Advance Nursing Practice and Education." She presented a number of education initiatives and examples from the Nursing Telehealth Applications Initiative. Two initiatives of special interest were a program to help teenagers with diabetes visualize variations in their blood glucose levels and a "Virtual Clinical Practicum" between Mount Aloysius College and Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well as Brooke Army Medical Center.


On the second day of the conference, the opening keynote speaker was Carole A. Gassert, PhD, RN, FACMI, FAAN, whose presentation "Technological Solutions to Nurse Workflow Inefficiencies" addressed the study by the American Academy of Nursing supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The study involved a "drill down" approach to determine clinical technology needs. The data are still being analyzed and will be published soon. The academy's Web site is


The endnote speaker was Judy Murphy, RN, FACMI, FHIMSS, from the Aurora Health System in Wisconsin with her talk entitled "What Nurses/Students/Faculty Will Need to Know When Practicing in an EPR Environment: Future Predictions." Judy spoke of the challenges and barriers to adopting health information technology in the clinical environment and the types and prevalence of technologies being fielded. A key point was the need to appropriately plan and educate before implementing technology and to always remember that technology is only a means to improving quality patient care, not an end unto itself.


Mary Anne Rizzolo, EdD, RN, FAAN, of the NLN presented "The NLN 2006 Survey of Informatics Competencies: Findings and Implications." There are far too many nurses who are unprepared or underprepared in informatics competencies. This applies to nurses in practice, nursing faculty, and nursing students. Read the NLN position statement: "Preparing the Next Generation of Nurses to Practice in a Technology-Rich Environment: An Informatics Agenda" (approved May 9, 2008) on the NLN Web site.


The California Healthcare Foundation posted an audio interview at entitled "Efforts Aim to Increase Health Care IT, Informatics in U.S. Nurse Training Programs." It featured comments from Connie Delaney (University of Minnesota), Beverly Malone (NLN), and Joyce Sensmeier (HIMSS).


From the Web site, it is stated: "The National League for Nursing says schools and colleges need to incorporate more IT training into their curricula. It's not enough just to train nurses in basic computer skills, nurses also need to be proficient in how health care IT works and be able to use the technology to its best advantage, the league contends."


I found a new blog started June 1 that is on my "must-read" list. It is called Work Literacy and is located at Much in line with the focus on the need for informatics literacy in nursing, this blog addresses issues of workplace information literacy, obstacles to developing new skills and learning new tools, and methods to encourage change. Two great posts to share are the following:


"In a video presentation at Enterprise 2.0, two of the CIA Intellipedia folks mention a document on their Wiki that was put together by the OSS (precursor to the CIA) which describes how to best sabotage an organization" (


"[horizontal ellipsis]a new kind of illiteracy. And it's worse, because it's not a conscious illiteracy. You feel like you can still do your job. But you are slowly falling behind and as time goes by it becomes harder to catch up because you lack the learning skills that are part of this new literacy" (


Here are four great informatics-oriented Web sites with information on competency assessment, continuing education, and professional collaboration:


1. Nursing Informatics Competencies: Self-assessment (


2. American Nursing Informatics Association (


3. American Medical Informatics Association (


4. HIMSS-Nursing Informatics (



Contributed by


William Perry, MA, RN