University of Eastern Finland, Department of Health and Social Management; Chair for IMIA/NI-SIG Working Groups 2012-2015; Co-Chair for the Scientific Programme Committee of MedInfo 2015; Chair of the Scientific Programme Committee for NI2009

 

 

 


My nursing background as a perioperative nurse has always convinced me that technology has a servant’s role in my daily work. However, from time to time it has been really challenging to think like that when working with computers. The anchor point for my national and international informatics contributions was my Master’s Degree thesis, which focused on nursing informatics competences. I also presented the thesis as my first international poster at the International Medical Informatics Association Nursing Informatics Special Interest Group (IMIA/NI-SIG) congress: NI´94 held in Austin, Texas.

Besides the NI conferences in the 1990’s a very satisfying learning and sharing opportunity was the European Summer Schools for Nursing Informatics chaired by Dr. Derek Hoy and his associates. These events created networks but also friendships for decades among participants not only from Europe but also from the USA.

As an academician my duty was to develop educational curricula for the nursing informatics specialty courses and programs in Finland. This was especially guided by Dr. Evelyn Hovenga with whom I spent some time in Queensland as a visiting professor in 2001. To strengthen education and training books and articles were badly needed in Finnish language in early 2000. Together with my colleagues we published the first NI textbook especially to support electronic nursing documentation and afterwards chapters in health management books to guide information system implementations. The materials serve as the basis for several major courses such as: Introduction to Health Informatics, Implementation of Health Information Systems, Data Security and Privacy Protection as well as Electronic Services for Citizens.

I also had the pleasure to serve as the co-director of the first health informatics development program (PD: 4 modules /80 credits) for persons working in health care. During its existence between 1998 and 2007, more than 140 health and IT-professionals graduated from the program.  In 2009, we launched a new 40 credits program to consolidate privacy and data security policy in practice.  This innovative program has guided new experts in health care organizations to manage their duties based a new Finnish Information Management Act.  In 2014 over 90 persons have attended this program.

I was privileged to be the president for Acendio – the Association for Common European Nursing Diagnosis, Interventions and Outcomes – focusing on nursing terminology development.  This opportunity confirmed my experiences about the importance of a standardized nursing language.  A totally different perspective for terminology development has been the origin of the Nursing Thesaurus Hoidokki, which was launched in March 2010-  <http://www.hoidokki.fi>. It is developed over a ten-year period by the Finnish Nursing Terminology Group funded by the Finnish Nursing Education Foundation. Together with Dr. Tallberg as a mentor the group has developed the electronic interface to support evidence-based practice. The Hoidokki not only assists librarians to index nursing literature into the system database but also assists the nurses to design and develop their search strategies using its keywords in search for literature. The controlled vocabulary keywords can be searched in Finnish, Swedish or English.

The establishment of the first and still the only master’s degree programme in health and human services informatics at University of Eastern Finland in 2000 has been a very successful opportunity for me as a professor. I can’t think a position more rewarding than to teach and guide adult students who are really committed to study and pass the university degree. The programme was awarded as the first master’s degree programme by the IMIA accreditation programme committee in October 2012 in Beijing at the IMIA GA.