The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) health care information technology initiatives and simulation labs were once more a highlighted stopover in a recent legislative visit to the Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. On December 18, 2006, as part of a university-wide briefing, JHUSON faculty highlighted for Congressman-elect John P. Sarbanes (D-MD) the importance of using nursing informatics-both in nursing education and practice-to provide quality health care for the nation.
In the first of three lab-based demonstrations, assistant professor Patti Abbott, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI outlined the teaching opportunities offered by the Hopkins/Eclipsys Health Care Information Technology lab. JHUSON is one of five U.S. nursing schools with this technology, which allows students to check a care plan, determine a course of action, and record their findings or alter plans of care. According to Abbott, “Nursing technology can help reduce error and improve patient safety. It can help nurses figure out how to do the right thing. But it is, unfortunately, underutilized in the United States.”
In demonstrating the system, Krysia Hudson, MS, RNC, a clinical instructor who works with students in the lab, advised the congressman-elect that the technology used at the school is more sophisticated than that available at most hospitals. “We teach the optimal,” says Hudson. “And we hope that when our students leave the school, they will propagate the model wherever they work.”
JHUSON simulations lab manager Diane Aschenbrenner, MSN, APRN, added to the visit with two additional demonstrations featuring computer-controlled mannequins. Nancy Woods, PhD, CNM and Elizabeth Jordan, DNSc RNC led Sarbanes through mannequin simulations of pregnancy, labor, and delivery and Shari Lynn, MSN, RN demonstrated how students learn to feel a pulse and listen to breathing and heart rate.
“You can’t teach someone how to play the piano by reading a book,” says Abbott. “Nursing education is the same. With the simulation technologies, what the students have heard about in lecture now comes to life. The school’s technology initiatives allow Hopkins nurses to enter the workplace prepared, confident, and capable of providing outstanding patient care.”