Nominations are now being accepted for Health Data Management's seventh annual Nursing Information Technology Innovation Award. The deadline for submitting an essay is Monday, Oct. 31, 2011.

The award recognizes innovation and excellence in using information technology in the field of nursing to directly improve the quality of care and patient safety while maximizing nursing resources, improve the work experience of nurses, or to help further the professional practice of nursing. The co-sponsor of the award is ANIA-CARING, the nation's largest educational and networking group for nurses interested in health care information technology (

The award will be presented to a team of nursing professionals at a health care organization (hospital, physician group practice or any other care-giving site). At least one of the primary coordinators of the I.T. project must be a nurse. The project must be ongoing.

To qualify for this award, a health care organization must submit an essay with detailed information on the nursing information technology project and the specific, measurable results of that project. The contribution of nurses to the innovative project must be clearly identified.
Judges may interview finalists by phone before determining the award recipient. The Feb. 2012 issue of the magazine will include a story on the winning organization and runners-up.

This year's judges will be:
* The founder of the Nursing I.T. Innovation Award, Susan K. Newbold, PhD, RN-BC, is a healthcare informatics consultant based in Franklin, Tenn.  She is a founder of ANIA-CARING, a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a fellow in the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society. Identified as a pioneer in nursing informatics, Newbold created a nursing informatics review course in 1995, co-edited five books and has written numerous articles on informatics topics.
* Contest co-founder Dana Womack, MS, R.N. is a nursing informatics specialist at Inova Health System in Northern Virginia. After five years in acute care nursing, Dana earned a master's degree in nursing informatics from the University of Utah. In over 12 years as a consultant, she has helped launch several new health I.T. initiatives and has worked in analytics, product development, system implementation and policy development. She has particular interest in the intersection of data visualization, operational informatics, and healthcare quality.
* Cindy Esser, BSN, MBA, MHA, is the director of emerging technologies at Butler Memorial Hospital in Pennsylvania.  Responsible for the strategy and identification of new innovative technologies, Esser was the founder and champion of the award winning technology for the 2009 Nursing Information Technology Innovation Award.  Prior to working in healthcare technology at both McKesson and Marconi, she formerly served as director of strategic services for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and a manager of healthcare consulting at Deloitte. Her clinical, educational and work experiences has allowed her to be instrumental in organizational strategy, the adoption and initiation of new technologies, workflow efficiencies and implementation.
* Verna Tereceita (Terry) Laidlow, DNP, MS, RN-BC is a healthcare initiative specialist at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, School of Nursing in Baltimore. She holds degrees in trauma critical care, nursing education and nursing informatics. She is currently a member of ANIA-CARING. Laidlow was instrumental in implementing an organization-wide, integrated, electronic protocol that won the bronze award in the 2011 Nursing Information Technology Innovation contest. Having worked for several years as a clinical implementation and management consultant, she is a champion of integrative technology in clinical practice.
* Gary Baldwin, the editorial director of Health Data Management, has been covering health care since the early 1990s. Prior to rejoining Health Data Management, he served as technology editor for HealthLeaders Media for nearly five years. At HealthLeaders, Baldwin won five national editorial recognition awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors. He earned a masters degree in journalism from Roosevelt University, Chicago.

To enter, submit a document attached to an e-mail to At the top of the document, list the following:
* Name of organization and address.
* Description of size of organization (total physicians, total inpatient licensed beds, and so forth).
* Name of key nurse(s) involved in the project, and their roles.
* Name of person who prepared the nomination and contact information (phone and e-mail).
* Name of senior executive with organization who could be available to answer questions, and contact information.

Entrants should prepare an essay of up to 1,250 words answering the following questions:
1. What is the nursing I.T. project that is worthy of recognition? Precisely identify the technology involved.
2. What is innovative/groundbreaking about the project?
3. What are the measurable results/outcomes of the project? Be as specific and detailed as possible. Examples of results can include: achieving tangible improvements in the quality of care; reducing the time nurses spend on non-care activities by automating tasks; improving workload management through telehealth technologies and other systems; enabling performance improvement through data analytics and reporting.
4. How does the project support quality improvement? Focus areas may include the Institute of Medicine's Domains of Quality: effectiveness, efficiency, equity, patient-centeredness, safety, and timeliness. Projects may support other federal and regulatory reporting programs, such as meaningful use or Joint Commission requirements.

In addition, the essay should describe the contribution of nurse(s) to the project and whether the nurse(s) was the project leader, product manager, trainer, implementer or executive sponsor.
Questions about the award should be e-mailed to

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