Translating Knowledge Across Nursing and Health Information Science

By Marcy Antonio, PhD(c), MPH, BSc & Dr. Noreen Frisch, PhD, RN

The bi-annual international conference addressing Information Technology and Communications in Health (ITCH) was held in Victoria on February 16 -19th, 2017. This is the 14th ITCH conference, sponsored by the UVic School of Health Information Science (HINF) with this year’s theme focused on “building capacity for health informatics in the future”. There were multiple presentations from UVic’s School of Nursing (SON) and from those who are affiliated with the double-degree Master’s program that offers baccalaureate-prepared nurses opportunity to obtain graduate degrees in both Nursing and Health Information Science. Such presentations addressed the large issue of how information technologies can inform practice and research.

Dr. Noreen Frisch presented on the development of InspireNet, a virtual professional network designed to promote nursing and health services research. The dual masters degree program was represented by its students and graduates: Shauna Farmer, Kristie McDonald and Allen McLean. Similarly, Marcy Antonio, who is completing an interdisciplinary doctoral studies that brings together the two professions of nursing and health informatics, presented on patient-centred technologies. Below are some highlights of the presentations. If you would like to learn more about paper-based presentations, these open-source publications are referenced at the end of this document.

Dr. Frisch discussed some of the key findings in developing a virtual e-learning platform that served to connect health practitioners and researchers. At the end of the six year project, the membership well surpassed original expectations, with over 4000 members. The site offered web-based conferencing, webinars and social media that connected people with shared interests through electronic communities of practice (eCoPs). Although webinars were offered in real-time, most members preferred to access webinars asynchronously. Data from the InspireNet experience documents that an online virtual network can expand the reach of continuing professional education by bringing education to professionals in an ‘anywhere, anytime’ fashion. In the age of technology and virtual connections, continuing education has options never before realized and that address educational needs in times of ever present budget constraints.

Shauna Farmer’s poster presentation examined the need for developing organizational capacity for an advanced practice nurse informaticist (APNI). Although the United States recognizes nursing informatics as a specialization, the Canadian nursing associations currently lack universal competencies for nursing informatics. The proposed APNI serves to bridge the gap between research and practice, and support integration of health practitioners’ clinical expertise with information communication technologies. The APNI is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s Degree in Nursing functioning at an advanced practice level.

Kristie McDonald presented on the process she undertook in creating a case study video for her Masters research. Kristie needed to present her research participants with a life-like case of a patient with multiple health issues so that her participants from various disciplines could review the case and write documentation of the assessment and other data as if it were a real patient and chart. Her video was created after an extensive search found no matches that were specific to Kristie’s research focus in examining the data elements common between and among multiple disciplines. Kristie hired actors through UVic, a production assistant and a videography. The script went through approximately six drafts, which included the use of props, physical movements and non-verbal cues. After a day of filming and subsequent edits the final eight minute video was posted on you-tube, so that others could benefit and access this case study: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0zsqJYbI4s

We applaud Kristie for embarking in this challenging process as the first phase of her thesis work.

Allen McLean is a recent graduate from the double degree program, and has since continued on with his doctoral studies in Computer Science and Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan. Allen presented on the use of Ethica iEpi to design an app to support data collection for gestational diabetes. Ethica iEpi taps into the different features of Smartphones to collect data on physical activity, location, phone orientation, images, and battery information. It can be used as a platform to create apps that has specific considerations for conducting a research study, including integrating consent forms, surveys and participant enrolment process.

Marcy Antonio had the opportunity to present a poster on her recent scoping review on patient portals, as well as a paper presentation a community-based health kiosk that is being funded through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). This study is a collaboration of multiple universities, with Dr. Karen Courtney at the School of Health Information Science being one of the co-investigators. The specific focus for this presentation was examining how behaviour change techniques can be used to inform the design of health information technologies.

The ITCH conference provides a great venue for connecting with other researchers and academics in the health and technology field. If you are interested in informatics, we would highly recommend this conference, as it is a great-size conference for networking and connecting with people who are keenly interested in supporting students’ research.

Student and faculty presentations, ITCH 2017

Farmer, S. (2017). The Advanced Practice Nurse Informaticist: Developing Organizational Capacity for Nursing Informatics. [Poster Presentation]. Information Technology and Communication Health Conference, Victoria, BC, February 16, 2017.

Frisch, N. C., Atherton, P., Borycki, E. M., Mickelson, G., Black, A., Novak, L. H., & Cordeiro, J. (2017). Expanding the Reach of Continuing Educational Offerings Through a Web-Based Virtual Network: The Experience of InspireNet. Studies in health technology and informatics, 234, 120.

McDonald, K., Courtney, K. L., & Frisch, N. (2017). Developing Effective Case Scenarios for Interprofessional Electronic Health Record Research. Studies in health technology and informatics, 234, 217.

McLean, A., Osgood, N., Newstead-Angel, J., Stanley, K., Knowles, D., van der Kamp, W., & Dyck, R. (2017). Building Research Capacity: Results of a Feasibility Study Using a Novel mHealth Epidemiological Data Collection System Within a Gestational Diabetes Population. Studies in health technology and informatics, 234, 228.

Antonio, M. G., Courtney, K. L., Lingler, J. H., & Matthews, J. T. (2017). Translating Behavior Change Techniques to New Delivery Mediums. Studies in health technology and informatics, 234, 18.

Antonio, M.G. (2017). Revisiting Patient Portal Aims – A Scoping Review. [Poster Presentation]. Information Technology and Communication Health Conference, Victoria, BC, February 16, 2017.

From the 2017 Spring & Summer Communiqué — Research Edition