About The Gazette Search Back Issues Contact Us    
The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University September 13, 2004 | Vol. 34 No. 3
Nursing to Expand Role of Clinical IT

School and Eclipsys form unique academic partnership

By Lynn Writsel
School of Nursing

Underscoring the growing role that information technology plays in the delivery of health care, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Eclipsys Corp. have signed a letter of intent to launch a unique academic partnership. The goals are to increase the health care information technology competence of nursing graduates and to design new ways of delivering safe and efficient health care utilizing health care information technology.

Johns Hopkins nurse educators plan to use the partnership to develop and implement a curriculum that incorporates Eclipsys' advanced information technology solutions, hardware and expertise. Through the curriculum, their students will have access to the company's information technology and will use a wealth of evidence-based, best practices clinical content and knowledge-management tools. During their learning process, Hopkins nursing students will experience the use of clinical information systems in simulated, but realistic, health care situations. Graduate students and faculty will study the impact of the technology on the nursing workflow, efficiency, error prevention and the educational process itself. Eclipsys, in turn, will benefit from access to Hopkins' intellectual capital, collaboration on research studies and Hopkins' contributions to Eclipsys' ongoing product design and innovation.

According to Martha N. Hill, dean of the School of Nursing, "The impetus for this partnership is the growing national nursing shortage and our resultant concerns over patient safety, all of which are driving the redesign nationwide of how patients will be cared for and how nursing students and nurses will be taught." Hill said that she sees the partnership as "a cutting-edge response by Hopkins Nursing to the nationwide patient safety and quality-of-care crises."

"Via the use of enabling information technologies," she said, "we can superbly prepare our students and study and re-engineer processes to improve the efficiency, appropriateness and safety of health care."

Patricia Abbott, the catalyst behind the partnership and the Hopkins project lead, noted, "We at Hopkins are acutely aware of how health care is changing. Our patients are sicker, there is an acute nursing shortage, and reports from the Institute of Medicine show that medical errors are far too common. Information technology is essential in our battle to address the critical issues of patient safety and quality of care."

Jim Cato, Eclipsys chief nursing officer, said, "Hopkins Nursing will serve as a proving ground for ideas as we continue to develop information technology tools to improve the way that nurses and other clinicians deliver patient care. The School of Nursing will provide a world-class forum to teach and demonstrate health care information technology to faculty, students and staff and to drive forward the knowledge base."


The Gazette | The Johns Hopkins University | Suite 540 | 901 S. Bond St. | Baltimore, MD 21231 | 443-287-9900 |