1. Roberts, Darryl W. MS, RN
  2. Murphy, Lyn Stankiewicz PhD, MBA, MS, RN

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The University of Maryland School of Nursing held its 18th Annual Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics (SINI) on July 16 to 19, 2008. This year's theme, "Building Connections for Patient-Centered Records," highlighted the importance of the electronic medical records in an increasingly complex healthcare environment. More than 50 speakers addressed the importance of the patient-centered records as an integral and effective mechanism for efficiently sharing personal health information across a variety of providers and services. These records can be a valuable tool for managing one's own health and that of family members. Stanlie Daniels, RN, deputy chief officer and director of Strategic Planning and Management for the Veterans Health Administration, set the tone for this 4-day event by sharing the Veterans Affairs' method for advancing patient self-management competency, which enables patients to share in decision making and improve health outcomes.


Nearly 450 participants, including informatics nurse specialists, informaticists, nurse executives, systems analysts and programmers, nurse clinicians, educators, and researchers, attended SINI 2008 in person or via Webcast presentations. Those who took advantage of the Webcast had access to all plenary sessions and several distinguished concurrent sessions. Organized into six tracks that met the needs of participants, from the novice to the expert, the concurrent sessions addressed privacy, security, and communication of patient-centered records; continuity of the patient-centered record; implementation of patient-centered evidence-based care; facilitation of personal and family health management; data quality and accuracy in patient-centered records; and secondary use and reuse of data from patient-centered records.


Plenary speakers included Roy L. Simpson, RN-C, FNAP, FAAN, vice president of nursing for Cerner Corporation; Clement J. McDonald, MD, director of Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications at the National Library of Medicine; Mary Etta Mills, ScD, RN, FAAN, professor of Nursing Informatics, University of Maryland School of Nursing; Judy Ozbolt, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, FAIMBE, professor and program director for Nursing Informatics, University of Maryland School of Nursing; Ken Goodman, PhD, codirector of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Miami; Barbara Massoudi, PhD, MPH, senior research health scientist at Research Triangle Institute; and Lisa Nugent, creative director for the Global Strategic Design Office for Johnson & Johnson. The endnote for the conference was presented by Patricia Flatley Brennan, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, from the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she serves as the Moehlman Bascom Professor. Dr Brennan's endnote highlighted the importance of creative strategies built on nursing insights to assist patients to translate personal health information into action for health. This "call to action" will assist in the management of one's own health.


Those who attended SINI 2008 not only advanced their knowledge and skill but also enjoyed some of the sites of Baltimore. After the keynote speech kicked off the program, participants could choose between a tour of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, which is the nation's only trauma hospital, or a walking tour to Baltimore's Historic West Side, led by historian Dean Kimmel. The walking tour included Davidge Hall, the nation's oldest continually used medical school; Edgar Allan Poe's grave site; and the Hippodrome Theater. After the tours, SINI hosted its annual social and networking event, held this year at The Maryland Visionary Arts Museum, where the artworks were interesting, the food was excellent, and the music highlighted Baltimore's jazz and blues tradition. "The Exhibitor Evening" continued the theme of good food and good atmosphere and combined the talents of 45 corporate vendors with event participants, presenters, and local healthcare organizations to exchange information about current and forthcoming informatics products and services over the delights of the Taste of Baltimore dinner at the Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards.


Many participants took the opportunity to attend the Nursing Informatics Graduate Programs' Information Sessions to learn more about the University of Maryland School of Nursing's master of science, post-master's, doctor of nursing practice (DNP), and PhD programs. The DNP program, the newest academic program offered at the school, prepares nurses to develop and integrate evidence to achieve the highest level of nursing practice. Clearly, this is an arena for applied nursing informatics!


The chairperson of the SINI Program Committee was Judy Ozbolt, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, FAIMBE, professor and program director for Nursing Informatics at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. "I'd like to express my appreciation to all who made this exciting program possible," said Ozbolt. "The presenters, the exhibitors, the staff, the program committee, and the participants brought amazing energy to SINI. Together, we are expanding the limits of our knowledge and abilities in nursing informatics. Special thanks go to the sponsors, who enable us to assemble an extraordinary program, at a reasonable price for our participants. We would particularly like to recognize our Platinum Sponsor, Siemens Healthcare, and our Gold Sponsor, GE Healthcare. We are also grateful to our many Bronze Sponsors as well as our exhibitors. Thanks to the generosity of all these sponsors, we were able to provide amenities to all participants and award more than $20,000 in SINI scholarships and cash prizes to presenters whose abstracts received top scores in the peer review." We are pleased to present our award winning abstracts.



Planning for the 2009 SINI conference "Informatics at the Point of Care%colon; A Barrier or A Bridge?" is currently underway. Topics such as usability, ergonomics, and the nursing process will be explored. Preconferences will be held July 20 to 22, 2009, with the main conference being held from July 22 to 25, 2009. Future participants and presenters should watch the SINI Web site ( for updates, details, and due dates for abstract submission.