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HIMSS Uses Commemorative Week to Support Nursing Informatics Day

May 11, 2012
by Jennifer Prestigiacomo
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Association updates its Nursing 101 document to honor nursing informatics day

National Nurses Week, May 6-12, will culminate tomorrow in a day that will honor nurse informaticists nationwide. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) will be recognizing Nursing Informatics Day by updating its Nursing 101 document, an introductory primer for those new to nursing informatics.

“With nursing informatics celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, National Nurses Week recognizes the contributions of nurses as they provide quality care to patients and valuable leadership in the implementation of health IT,” said Joyce Sensmeier, R.N., vice president, informatics, HIMSS, in a statement.

This week of nursing activities was introduced in the 1960s by the American Nurses Association, and May 12 was chosen specifically for nursing informatics to honor Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Nightingale was a pioneer in nursing, laying the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St. Thomas' Hospital in London in 1859, which was the first of its kind in the world. HIMSS began recognizing Nursing Informatics Day in 2008 and hopes to ramp up activities this year to reach a larger audience.

Today, Friday, May 11, the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Community will host a webinar on Nursing Informatics 101 that will be presented by Melissa F. Barthold R.N., Ruth MacCallum, R.N., and Patty Guinn, R.N.

As a part of the week’s activities, HIMSS has updated its Nursing 101 document with workforce survey research from last fall and will unlock it to non-members for the week. “In response to the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report on the future of medicine, HIMSS has delivered a board-approved position statement around the role of nursing and technology,” said Christel Anderson, director, clinical informatics, HIMSS.    

Next year, HIMSS will be executing a survey on the impact of electronic health record implementations on nurses and physicians to assess the value of implementing these systems, and to see if they facilitate better workflows.

For more seasoned nursing informaticts, HIMSS hosts a variety of career resources on its site like a job description repository for nursing informatics roles, as well as an informatics practice section that has case studies, governance models, and discussion forum where nursing informaticists can ask questions of their peers. “One of the challenges we are facing is there’s not a regularly available place to understand what the CNIO role is, so we’ve created that,” said Anderson.

Beyond identifying the role of the senior nurse informaticist, certification and education are the most pressing issues in nursing informatics today said Anderson. That’s one of the main reasons HIMSS will sponsor the Nursing Informatics Institute, a one-day workshop on May 31, 2012 at the Cleveland Clinic. Judy Murphy, R.N., deputy national coordinator for programs & policy, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, will give the closing keynote.

HIMSS will also be hosting a nursing informatics and technology panel, “Transforming Nursing Practice and Healthcare Delivery through Technology & Informatics,” on Sept. 11, 2012, as a part of National Health IT Week. This discussion will address leadership, education, practice, and policy and how these areas relate to the future of nursing and informatics.