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

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Hospitals may want to rethink cell phone bans

Britt reports that physicians use cell phones in hospitals that prohibit their use due to reported electronic magnetic interference. However, researchers report the use of cell phones rarely causes any interuption of electronic magnetic interference. Furthermore, it has been reported that when physicians communicate via their cell phones, thre are less medical errors due to quick communication to various healthcare providers. "The study is published in the February issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia. It was based on 4,018 responses from attendees at the 2003 meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Of those who responded, 65 percent reported using pagers as their primary mode of communications, and of those, 40 percent reported delays in communications."

Rapid communication in clinical settings...saves lives!

Monster and the AACN

In an attempt to increase the number of nurse educators, Monster Healthcare has joined the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to create a scholarship program. "All efforts to address the shortage of nurses in the U.S. will fail unless we focus on increasing the supply of faculty needed to prepare new nurses," said AACN President Jean E. Bartels. "AACN applauds Monster Healthcare for recognizing one of the root causes of our nation's current nursing shortage and taking decisive action to address this concern."

This year's recipients of the scholarship program have been announced and may be viewed at

Congratulations to the recipients of this year's awards!

Need for nurses spawns building

Feldstien reports a $40 million building will be constructed to meet the increasing need for nurses in the United States. The construction of the new Barnes-Jewish hospital in St. Louis will assist the school in becoming one of the top ten nursing schools in the United States. It replaces one constructed more than 75 years ago. It will include simulated operating rooms and patient rooms as well as wireless Internet access and video conferencing. "It's really getting us to the 21st century of technology," said Coreen Vlodarchyk, vice president of patient care services and interim dean of the college. "Right now our labs are old and tired and not where we want them to be."

National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, JVC Develop 8-megapixel High-resolution Robotics Technology

Robotic technology is being proposed for telemedicine and nursing application purposes. The "humanoid" robot has a vision resolution of 8 megapixels (similar to the limits of human vision) and arms, hands, and fingers. A person wearing data gloves embedded with joint bending sensors can manipulate the robot's arms and fingers via a network.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Microsoft would put poor online by cellphone

It is good to hear that MIT's researcher, Mr. Negroponte, is willing to consider the idea of building a low-cost computer using a cell phone. "He said his research group at the M.I.T. Media Lab had experimented with the idea of a cellphone that would project a computer display onto a wall and also project the image of a keyboard, sensing the motion of fingers over it. But the researchers decided the idea was less practical than a laptop." However, what is more important is that Mr. Negroponte is supportive of the use of open sourceware.


Student blogs are popping up everywhere! Nursing students at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing are blogging their experiences as student nurses. And, students' stories are helping to recruit future students. "Prospective students can view a slice of real life as a Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing student through student "blogs" now posted on the School's website. In the blogs - website-based journals kept online for others to view - eight Hopkins nursing students write about all aspects of their lives, both on and off campus."

Nursing demands drive Web courses

I think it is time to undestand that the term "learning" is becoming more ubiquitous then ever before. Hopefully, one day we will not differentiate between e-learning and "face-to-face" learning. And, various schools of nursing across the country are responding to students' requests to take online nursing courses from an accredited school. Zaleski reports "A record number of graduate students at Drexel University's College of Nursing and Health Professions online learning program will earn their degrees without ever having to step foot in a classroom. More than 500 students have enrolled for the winter 2006 term, and will take classes entirely through the World Wide Web. "

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Old touches for new hospital

It is refreshing to learn that hospital administrators are paying attention to detail when it comes to the quality of a hospital's interior design. A blend of history and technology is ideal. The aesthetics of a patient's environment is critical for healing purposes. "Comfort, light and brightness also are key when designing a hospital’s interior, Nichols Kennedy says. “Most of the time, just the thought of having to go to the hospital brings anxiety."

“Anxiety is not conducive to healing.”

So, if we may strive to create an environment that is conducive to healing or perhaps a peaceful death- patients and their loved ones will have a decreased level of anxiety and memories of the hospital environment will be pleasant. I often tell my students, bring in a small token of beauty to place at your patient's bedside...and watch the smile that comes across the patient's face! Wonderful! Let us not forget that surroundings do affect our health and well-being.

Area colleges heed the need for health care professionals

Daneman reports on the critical need for more health care providers in this country. More and more schools of nursing are expanding their physical space to allow for more students to become educated and enter the depleted workforce. Many schools are expanding their programs, as well.

  • "RIT this academic year started a medical informatics undergraduate degree, which replaced its biomedical computing program. "It's a hot item right now in this country and the world," director Nicolas Thireos said of the science that organizes, analyzes and manages health care information. RIT also hopes to start a master's program in medical informatics.
  • Nazareth College began a doctor of physical therapy program in the fall. Last year the school started a post-master's nursing education certification program."

  • The need for nursing education certificate or degree programs are essential if we want to increase the number of nurses in this country. And, nursing students need to know the technologies that are available to them in order to provide competent nursing care to clients in various settings.

    Surgery Goes High Tech

    A new state-of-the-art video-conferencing system has been showcased at St. Joseph's hospital and medical center in Phoenix, Arizona. "MedPresence," a $1.1 million system, may assist with the training of new health care providers, allow for new treatments to be given to people residing in rural areas, and offers real time assessment of various medical devices at a distance. "The system uses powerful microscopes to let viewers see an operation as surgeons see it. The images, 10 to 15 times as large as actual size, can be beamed into a conference room or sent to portable displays anywhere in the world." This new system provides education for many students living all over the world and ultimately offers improved health care for many people.