Saturday, and we are rapidly rushing towards the end of this year’s SINI. The opening session of the day is the Cerner Distinguished Lecture, given by Kathryn Hannah and with the title ‘Lighting the way for modern nurses with nursing informatics’.

As an interesting aside, while we sit here waiting for the start of the session – both Kathryn, and the closing keynote, Jeff Goldsmith, are using Apple Mac machines.

Kathryn was introduced by Charlotte Weaver, from Cerner Corporation. Kathryn revealed that her maiden name was Nightingale, and began her talk by talking about Florence Nightingale’s early work on statistics and hospital design and management.

She began by recapping some of the influences on health services delivery, from new diseases and treatments, rising drug costs, shifts to community-based care, demographic chnages and decreasing proportions of governemtn spending on healthcare. In addition, there are efficiency and effectiveness drivers. This all leads to a super-abundance of data with the growth of the medical literature, moves to lifelong electronic records, and rapidly rising amounts of genetic data.
She pointed out that, while data and information are essential to rational decision making, political decisions influencing health policy are not always rational.

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