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University of Colorado College of Nursing

College of Nursing



Elderly couple using a computer

The informatics faculty and students are involved in a variety of research and development projects. Health care organizations call upon our faculty to collaborate with them on various projects. The projects provide an opportunity for faculty to collaborate on real-world applications and issues in the field of health care informatics. The projects also provide opportunities for our learners to engage in the research and development process. Here are two current examples.

Longmont Hospital

Through our partnership with McKesson, our faculty and several students are collaborating with Sherri Hess, MS, RN, and her clinical informatics team at Longmont Hospital. Carlene Anteau, MS, RN, vice president, clinical practice and her team from McKesson are also involved in this evaluation project. Longmont United Hospital is undertaking a significant technology implementation and would like to understand the value of this investment, including financial, qualitative and quantitative benefits. This project evaluates the differences in clinical workflow, quality and patient safety in a paper-based versus automated environment.
This study will evaluate the impact of information technology as it is being implemented in an incremental fashion:

  • Phase 1: Geospatial patient flow tool
  • Phase 2: Interdisciplinary Care Team Documentation with rules-based alerting
  • Phase 3: Bar-code medication administration

Several local students from the College of Nursing’s health care informatics program and from the School of Medicine’s clinical sciences program are working on the project. The College of Nursing is funding a research assistant though intramural grant funds.

Social Media Projects

Diane J. Skiba has been involved in the creation and evaluation of social networks since 1987. In the early years, she helped a school system create an electronic bulletin to address student’s health questions. At the College of Nursing, she managed the NurseLink project in the later 1980’s funded by US West Foundation. NurseLink was an electronic bulletin board system to allow nurses to find the research articles to support their practice. In the 1990’s, she received funding from the Colorado Trust to develop the Denver FreeNet. This project fostered the development of a community computing system that not only disseminated information but also allowed interactions (email, chat and discussions) among community members. It was one of the few networks sharing health information to the public prior to the introduction of the web.

A recent project is the exploration of social media by practitioners in the University of Colorado Clinics. In collaboration with Jeffrey Raikes, practice manager at University Family Medicine, A.F. Williams and the University of Colorado Hospital marketing department, a needs assessment is planned as well as some pilot projects using social media such as Facebook, microblogging tools like Twitter and other social networking tools.