Nursing, Healthcare Informatics and Technology 2006

Welcome to Nursing, Healthcare and Technology 2006. My name is Margaret Maag and I will post reviews of current top stories in nursing, healthcare informatics and technology at this blogspot. I hope you will share this site with your friends, colleagues, and students.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Friday, January 13, 2006

Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions Surpasses 500 Online Graduate Nursing Students

Drexel University College of Nursing reports that 500 graduate students will be studying totally online during the Winter 2006 academic term. "According to a recent U.S. Department of Labor report, Nursing has been identified as the top occupation for career growth through the year 2012. Many new challenges currently exist in the health care industry and as the US population is growing older, the demand for more service from nurses and health professionals is increasing; at the same time there is a severe nursing shortage and an even more severe nursing faculty shortage."
"Online students can choose from over a dozen NLN and CCNE accredited online nursing programs in the areas of nursing education, clinical trials, adult acute care, leadership and management, adult psychiatric mental health and more. For more information about Drexel University’s online nursing programs, visit"

Hopefully, one of the online programs is for nurses who wish to become nurse educators. There are some nurses interested in becoming educators, however, due to their busy schedules they do not see the opportunity to learn how to become educators. Imagine an online program that will train the trainer! The University of Kansas offers an online nurse educator program. Perhaps more universities will embrace online learning in order to reach professionals that live in rural areas or who are not able to commute to various universities. Offering advanced degrees in nursing via asynchronous and synchronous learning methods has the potential to increase the number of nurses and nurse educators. Let' give it a try! Effective education can take place via online learning environments.


OpenClinical is a non-profit organisation created and maintained as a public service with support from Cancer Research UK under the overall supervision of an international technical advisory board.

Here is a wonderful resource for healthcare professionals that are interested in advanced technologies for knowledge management in healthcare environments.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

UT nursing school recognized for recruiting male students

When I graduated from Seton Hall University (many years ago) there were no male nurses in my graduating class. However, today approximately 13% of the nurses in the state of California are males. And, now a university is being recognized for recruiting male students.

The University of Texas School of Nursing received the "2005 Best School or College of Nursing for Men Award" from the American Assembly for Men in Nursing.

Emerging Health Information Technology Helps Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center Become a Fully Integrated Digital Hospital

Jan. 11, 2006--Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center has reached a milestone that less than 15 percent of U.S. hospitals have achieved: the replacement of paper-based physician orders with 100 percent direct computerized physician order entry (CPOE) to delivery better quality of care, increase patient safety and improve health outcomes. With the help of Emerging Health Information Technology, an experienced provider of healthcare information management solutions, Bronx Lebanon's physicians and clinicians now have access to a comprehensive view of patient history, test results and current medications at the exact time and place it is needed.

It is amazing that less than 15 percent of the U.S. hospital have switched over to a CPOE. Perhaps if companies would interface their systems so the transition would be easier for more hospitals the percentage would increase. Patient care and safety may improve with the use of technology in clinical settings. A team approach is necessary!

Nursing Professor Receives National Award for Research on Tube Feedings

As a medical-surgical nurse and professor of a skills course, I found this article about Dr. Metheny to be so important. "Norma A. Metheny, Ph.D., professor of nursing at Saint Louis University's Doisy College of Health Sciences, has received a national writing award for her research on tube feedings.

MEDSURG Nursing: The Journal of Adult Health recognized Metheny, the Dorothy A. Votsmier Endowed Chair in Nursing at SLU, as the 2005 MEDSURG Nursing Research for Practice Award winner for her journal article, �Verification of Inefficacy of the Glucose Method in Detecting Aspiration Associated with Tube Feedings,� published in that journal in April 2005.

I commend her on her research findings and the writing award for her research findings is so well deserved. Many lives are saved each year because nurses are turning to evidenced base practice for their interventions.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Arizona rates D-plus in ER care

The scarcity of nurses, physicians, funding, and facilities is having a detremential effect on emergency rooms in Arizona. "Emergency medical care in Arizona ranks near the bottom in a state-by-state report released Tuesday — with too few specialists available, inadequate spending and a critical need for trauma centers." Since the data was collected, the state legislature has passed measures to improve the training of nurses. "Emergency care is a window on the entire health-care system," Taylor said. "When things are bad in the emergency department, they're bad everywhere." Hopefully, the emergency room care in Arizona will improve in the future.

Detecting MRSA Outbreaks

Healthcare providers are aware of the increase in the number of methcillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus (MRSA) cases in clinical settings. "The rising global incidence of MRSA outbreaks in hospitals is a major concern because of the high mortality rate and the stringent hygiene requirements needed for patients who become infected." But, now there is a fast and efficient method of typing a single locus- the S aureas protein gene with a software program. Medical informatics and laboratory techniques are helping healthcare providers with the detection of MRSA clusters before a large outbreak occurs.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Higher ed's money tied to vision for improvement

"A state Senate leader said lawmakers might be a little more generous to higher education if they could see a clearer picture of how schools plan to use state money to reach long-term goals." This article explores " a new Center for Health Innovations to house its nursing and health profession programs, and the construction of a Center for Informatics for information."

ANA Calls on Policymakers to Act on Nurse Staffing Legislation

"A study published today in the journal Health Affairs provides new evidence that if hospitals invest in appropriate Registered Nurse (RN) staffing, thousands of lives and millions of dollars could be saved each year. Specifically, the study shows that if hospitals increased RN staffing and hours of nursing care per patient, more than 6,700 patient deaths and four million days of care in hospitals could be avoided each year." This study shows that there is definitely a need for more nurse professionals in order to provide safe and humane care conditions for our society. Moreover, it is absolutely necessary for nurse educators to find ways to recruit more nurses into the world of academia.

Employers and universities ignore IT skills crisis

I guess the question is if employers and professors should be involved in designing and implementing IT courses for employees and students? Ranger reports in this article that experts are not providing IT skills for future employees and students. "Separate research shows that nearly half of IT graduates surveyed (46 per cent) believe their degree course has "failed to provide them with relevant IT skills"." If we do not take the time to train and educate our future employees, who will?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Doctors Advise Against Sleeping Pills

It is amazing to read about the effects of a $60 million ad campaign can influence people to take a sleeping pill that has been clinically proven not to work any better than other sleeping pills. The inability to sleep, or "insomnia," affects 70 million Americans and physicians attempt to dissuade clients from taking the sleeping aids due to the potential side effects. Primarily, the reason for their dissuasion is habituation. Physicians are attempting to teach their patients to try alternate methods of sleep induction. "We encourage (insomniacs) to read something kind of boring, not a romance novel or a suspense novel," he said. "Teach yourself Latin. That should make you drowsy." No matter what the physicians tell their clients, sleeping pills remail popular for many Americans. However, many experts are teaching patients relaxation techniques while reminding patients they can't force themselves to sleep.

"People have to be reminded sleep is not an Olympic sport," Smolley said. "You can't turn your mind off like a computer, but you can turn your mind on to something relaxing. Think about walking on the beach, or walking in the woods. Enjoy this fantasy and allow yourself to go to sleep."

City of Hope Cancer Center Receives $1.4 million NCI Cancer Survey

Marcia Grant, RN, DNSc, a research scientist and the director of City of Hope's Dept. of Nursing Research and Education is the principle investigator of the four year, $1.4 million grant from the National Cancer Institute. This project will enable 400 professional caregivers to be trained in specific ways that will increase the follow-up care of cancer survivors.
"Advances in treatment and screening contribute to more people surviving cancer every year. Survivorship issues are key to improving the quality of health care,� Grant says. �This NCI grant will help City of Hope train caregivers to properly monitor cancer survivors for any delayed effects of treatment and to ensure the best quality of life for them.�"

Overwhelming Evidence

Nurse educators are encouraging today's students to look toward evidenced based practice. What is evidenced based practice?

"What Schmidt is describing is the essence of an evidence-based practice (EBP), one in which the process of searching for information can be as important as the product. EBP is a kind of three-legged stool. One of the legs rests on the evidence information scientists have produced on the research process. Another leg stands on the librarians understanding of how her individual patrons learn bestvisually, aurally, by reading, or all three. The third leg consists of data, measurable proof that the librarians guidance has a real impact on learning. Keeping this wobbly stool upright isnt easy. Its very labor intensive on the librarians side, Schmidt says, and also on the kids side. This is not something you can sleep through."

This article explores EBP and how it is being used in high school science courses.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Stop Smoking Vaccine

Can you imagine going to the physician's office to receive a "stop smoking" vaccine! Think of the lives this vaccine may save.

According to a recent study, the vaccine blocks nicotine from the brain, and therefore lowers the addiction rate.

Introduction to Nursing Informatics at Athabasca University

A 3 unit online Nursing Informatics course is available at Athabasca University. The course will provide the learner an understanding of current hospital information systems and the importance of being literate in computer hardware, software, databases, and communication applications. The learner will receive information about the latest developments in computer technologies, such as telehealth, e-health, distance education, and nursing research.

Enjoy the course!

NIST Provides Health IT Standards Source

A web site, created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, has been developed to search for and publish information in its repository for health care standards. The Health Care Standards Landscape located at is a spot where you may search for data on healthcare standards and organizations developing and promoting such necessary standards. The great aspect of the repository is you may enter new data on healthcare standards' documents, as well as search the repository for current healthcare standards documents.