Written By: PJ Grier, Outreach/Access Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region
Contact PJ at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last month I attended The University of Maryland, Baltimore – School of Nursing’s conference entitled the Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics (SINI): Informatics enabling patient-centered care across the continuum. This event is a nationally recognized forum that is focused on the informatics needs of nurses. This conference interested me as nurses represent a significant outreach population for the Regional Medical Library. This action-packed conference is in its 24th year and the planning committee was stacked with leaders in the nursing profession. The SINI educational tracks and objectives were fourfold:
- Describe ways of using informatics tools to support patient engagement and patient-centered care.
- Identify new and evolving roles for clinicians and informaticians in providing patient-centered care across the continuum.
- Address ongoing challenges in achieving interoperability, with consideration for devices and apps individuals and families use to monitor and manage their health.
- Address ongoing challenges in using data from diverse sources to improve patient care and health outcomes and to control costs.
Those familiar with the Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) initiative will be pleased to know that during the general session it was announced that the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) would now lead TIGER’s efforts. TIGER’s vision was to enable nurses to use informatics and emerging technologies to make healthcare safer, more effective, efficient, patient-centered, timely and equitable by interweaving evidence and technology seamlessly into practice, education and research.
The opening plenary speaker was Philip Fasano – Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Kaiser Permanente (KP), who spoke on “Teaming to transform healthcare.” He felt that consumers demanded transparency, affordability and convenience using accessible e-tools such as secure messaging and desired a care-anywhere experience in their homes, schools, hospitals, etc. Some technologies that addressed consumers’ needs included telehealth, mhealth, predictive analytics and EHR real-time analyses. Notably 84% of U.S. hospitals were still implementing EHRs, however, all KP hospitals were at Stage 7 of EHR adoption (a HIMMS electronic medical record adoption model).
I attended a session that featured Patricia Dykes – Senior Nurse Scientist from Brigham and Women’s Hospital who presented “Participatory design and development of a patient-centered toolkit…in their plan of care.” Her program included a distillation of the research question, aims of the study, a review of the design methods used for the patient-centered toolkit, results and challenges. An outside foundation provided the demonstration funds used to develop and deploy the toolkit in the intensive care and acute care oncology units of the hospital. Interestingly, Dr. Dykes mentioned MedlinePlus in a positive way multiple times during her session. Engaging patients in the design process, having an awareness that patients wanted to be knowledgeable about their health conditions, plus a desire to have the appropriate tools for communication were valuable lessons learned.
Susan Matney – Informaticist from 3M Health Information Systems gave a talk on “Coding nursing assessments using Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT) and Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) to support national standards for interoperability.” Because Meaningful Use drove the adoption of comprehensive terminologies, Dr. Matney’s approach crystallized the need to use the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) approved standard terminologies to bridge nursing vocabularies in various healthcare settings. As a useful tool to assist with terminology mapping, she discussed the Nursing Problem List Subset of SNOMED CT, which is available through National Library of Medicine’s Unified Medical Language System.
Several speakers delivered their perspectives on “Health IT adoption in home health agencies”. Home health agencies (HHAs) did not receive financial incentives through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. As a result, many struggled to adopt new health information technology solutions. HHAs must correctly identify challenges to reduce costs, improve quality, and optimize health outcomes. It was also important for HHAs to define clear procedures that enumerated their IT needs and created structured assessments for evaluating vendor products and services.
Lastly I listened to Heather Carter-Templeton’s presentation “Using mobile devices to access evidence-based information in a rural health clinic.” According to Heather, the literature contained few reports of systematic roll-outs of mobile devices providing evidence-based resources and offered little guidance for teaching nurses how to use mobile devices within the clinical setting. Thus the need for this qualitative descriptive study conducted in a rural Alabama health clinic with seven nurses recruited as subjects. Preliminary findings suggested: (a) perceptions that nurses demonstrated limited use of electronic evidence-based information programs (EEIBP) via mobile devices, (b) differences in interpretations of information literacy and evidence-based practice, and (c) past experience with mobile devices was an indicator of how enthusiastically EEIBP was embraced.
I gained a better understanding of the challenges nurses undergo while adopting new approaches to patient-care delivery and in furthering their reporting and research needs. I observed that their challenges and opportunities are not that different from our own. For network members having nursing constituencies, you may want to put the Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics on your “to-do” list (funds permitting) or make sure that institutional nurse “champions” are aware that this conference exists. If you, or your colleagues desire greater detail on any of these sessions please let me know, as I am happy to share.