There's A Meeting for That

Data, STAT!

This unique meeting is built around data-driven nursing.

Illustration by Carmen Segovia.

American Nursing Informatics Association Annual Conference
April 21–23, 2016
Hyatt Regency San Francisco

What Is Nursing Informatics? “It’s how nurses use and integrate technology into practice,” said ANIA’s Daniel Gracie, “and takes the forms of computer science, information science, as well as nursing science, melding them all together to help improve the systems that we use in our health care today and make them more patient-centric and easier and more efficient for providers to use, and ultimately lead to better outcomes.”

Are members of the American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA) nurses or informaticists — people specializing in the science of data or information processing? Both, neither, or some combination.

“We have everyone pretty much from the bedside to the boardroom,” said ANIA President Daniel Gracie, DNP, RN-BC, Epic inpatient meaningful use implementation and testing coordinator at the Medical University of South Carolina. “We have people who may give direct patient care but are also the go-to person [for informatics] in their area. We also have nurse executives, leaders, and administrators, and then everything in between.”

MEDICAL SPECIALTYWith a variety of organizations serving the medical-data sector, why does nursing need its own informatics conference? “Nursing is the largest group of health-care providers in the country,” Gracie said. “While [informatics] is interdisciplinary, there are many issues that are specific to the profession we feel we can provide specific focus on for our members. And most of the time in hospitals, a lot of the teams are comprised of nurses that do this.”

THE SIZE OF ITCompared to other medical conferences, ANIA is an intimate program. That’s part of the appeal. “I like to think of it as a conference not only where you can see the speakers, but where you can meet the speakers,” Gracie said. “Ours is nice, because the board gets to spend time, meet the members, hear their needs, hear what we’re doing well, and also just make some bonds with the members.”

SELF-ANALYSISYes, ANIA uses data science at its own conference — especially this year, thanks to a newly robust app that allowed attendees to evaluate sessions instantaneously, send messages, and more. “It was really interesting, based on real-time feedback, to see how they rated sessions, or any comments they had,” Gracie said. “They could even email us directly. It was nice to be able to hear something and then do something about it, compared to when you get your evaluations a few weeks after the conference.”



Christopher Durso

Christopher Durso formerly was executive editor of Convene.