Knowledge and networking was in high supply for multidisciplinary health care professionals who attended the 2019 Rita Kobb Nursing and Health Informatics National Symposium at the J. Wayne Reitz Union on the UF campus Feb. 14-15. The biennial symposium was presented by the College of Nursing and was established through a gift from Bill and Patti Alcorn in honor of alumna Rita Kobb (BSN 1981, MN 1996), an informatics expert with Veterans Affairs.
The symposium included 271 registrants, 12 scientific and practice-based breakout sessions, 28 multidisciplinary speakers, four interactive workshops, two keynotes, a lunch plenary with a live Arts in Medicine performance and 15 poster presentations. The overarching theme of the symposium was Looking Back at the Past Decade of Nursing and Health Informatics:
Advances and 0pportunities. Scientists and clinical experts shared their discoveries and practice-based knowledge. The breakout sessions covered big health care system issues, such as electronic health record integration and populations across the lifespan.data-gallery
The opening keynote, delivered by Patricia C. Dykes, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, demonstrated the centrality of nursing and health informatics in producing an effective clinical decision support intervention for hospital-acquired fall prevention. The closing keynote was delivered by Michelle Troseth, MSN, RN, FNAP, FAAN, who discussed the polarity management approach that suggests rather than seeing conflict or tensions within an organization as a problem to be solved, it should instead be used to understand the dynamic exchange between two opposing but interdependent viewpoints or polarities.
The symposium was co-chaired by two informatics experts at the College of Nursing: Associate Professor Robert Lucero, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, and Assistant Professor Ragnhildur (Raga) I. Bjarnadottir, PhD, MPH, RN.
“We think that bringing scientists and clinical experts together for this symposium can generate new ideas and enhance research and evidence-based practice in nursing and health informatics, which are critical to ensure safe, high-quality care,” Lucero said. “It was exciting to work with such an esteemed panel of speakers and presenters from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to build this national symposium on topics that have an incredible impact on so many.”
Registration fees were waived for attendees thanks to the generosity of sponsors. In addition to founding sponsors Bill and Patti Alcorn, the 2019 symposium was also sponsored by UF Health and UF Health Jacksonville, the Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Charitable Trust, Shadow Health and the Alpha Theta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. The next symposium will be held in early 2021.