Monday, October 12, 2009

Disaster planning

Yes, it's a big deal in IT, and some people can't get enough of it. I found a great article at techsoup recently about this very subject. It's geared to non-profits, but the concepts are important nevertheless, and some of the tools can be used at home, and best of all, some are free. CSO Online has a great general section on disaster planning called Business Continuity and Disaster Planning Also, if you're interested in disaster planning in general, don't forget to check

Second, for individuals, disaster planning is a big deal, too, and not just with computers. If you own a Sidekick phone, you may be interested in this article. One server goes down and takes all your info with it...ouch!

And finally, while it's not a natural disaster, phishing and social engineering can cause lots of other disasters. This article called 9 Dirty Tricks discusses just a few of the latest scams out there.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Tales from graduate school

Well, here I am at school...and with you all. How am I doing it? I am doing it by way of distance learning and learning management tools, such as Blackboard.

I tried to start earlier by reading ahead, but I inadvertently bought the wrong book. Many titles by giants in particular areas look si milar or have similarities in titles, authors or groups of authors. Moral of the story: get the ISBN. When you have the ISBN, you'll never, ever buy the wrong book (90% of the time).

For the most part, I'm enjoying myself. I've upgraded my laptop and as a result, I'm having fun today moving some files from the old one via Belkin's Easy Transfer cable. I'll update you on that once I get it done.

I'm looking forward to using more collaboration tools in Blackboard as well as other tools such as Skype to work with my group. If nothing else, this course will help me learn more about online collaboration.

Monday, August 24, 2009


A co-worker was talking about this concept because she had the fortune (or misfortune) of being an ICU patient recently. She found it highly entertaining that she was being monitored from afar, and that the person doing the monitoring actually interacted with her.

This article discusses a recent study about the effectiveness of eICU and telemonitoring in ICUs.

Monday, July 20, 2009

In the news and helpful hints

VA halts 45 IT projects (from

SSO provides relief for password headaches (also
SSO, or Single Sign On, is one, long overdue piece that is left out of many network authentication systems. Signing on to multiple information systems (mainframe, PC, etc.) during the course of a day can be mind-boggling, considering security and logging issues in hospital systems.

HINT: Do yourself a favor--rotate your passwords in a scheme you can remember. Don't write them down, but do write down any hints that may help you remember your scheme. If you rotate them regularly, based on your network rules (every 30, 60, 90 days, etc.), it's easier to remember, too. There are some password keeper programs (such as this one from SplashData) you may be able to use on a personal device (i.e. PDA, smartphone). Whatever you do...don't write your passwords down anywhere they can be used to access your account.

Ask your system administrator (if they'll tell you) how many unique passwords you need to have in a year. Many system administrators require xx amount of unique passwords per year or per system. In one of my former lives, our system kept a record of your last 6 passwords; another system only four.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Great video

As a nurse, you're subject to lots of demands for your time and lots and lots of in-services on new equipment and procedures.

Here's a funny look at information overload courtesy of Xerox.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Online sources...beware!

Time and time again we read about mistakes. Here's another strike against Wikipedia: Irish student hoaxes world media.

Vet your sources carefully!

Monday, May 11, 2009

IT items of note

Here are a few interesting articles of note from the internet.

Nurse reflects on decades of caring (from in Lavonia, NH)
A unique perspective on nursing and technology in today's environment

Nurses face a digital divide (from

And for something a little different...
Cadets trade the trenches for firewalls (from

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Gadgets galore

The latest smartphone out there is the Palm Pre. While it's not out on the market yet, if you'd like to try out this technology and talk about it, you get a free six-month subscription and a Pre.

Check out this offer on the official Palm blog.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New product from Unbound Medicine

The Handbook of Nursing Diagnosis by Lynda Juall Carpenito-Moyet, RN, MSN,CRNP was a very popular tool for me in nursing school. This little book has lots of nursing diagnosis information in it and is now available in electronic format.

Get it from Unbound for your Palm, iPhone, Blackberry or Windows Mobile enabled device at

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tweet, twitter...what?

If you're overcome by anxiety because you don't know what those two words mean, they refer to one of the most talked about internet tools right now...Twitter. There's even a really great YouTube video on how Twitter works called "Twitter in Plain English".

Many folks with blogs, such as yours truly, also maintain Twitter feeds, which allow posts of 140 characters or less. Distilling posts down to 140 characters can be tricky, though. Since I don't own an iPhone and since I don't always have wifi access for my Palm, I'm currently staying out of the Twitter realm for this blog. Frankly, my day-to-day life may be exciting, but some of my stuff I can't tell you. It's five letters and starts with an H----...and it's not HORSE, but rather HIPAA.

The good folks at Clinical Cases and Images, though, are right in the fray. Here are a few of their thoughts on what's going on with medical blogging and Twitter.

Friday, March 27, 2009

News items of note

Yes, I'm still here but busy working and prepping for every kind of test you can imagine.

Here are a few news items I've culled of interest in IT. Note: not all of them pertain directly to your life on the floor as an RN, but they tell the background story of the world of IT right now.

Think they can't outsource health care? Think again. Infosys, one of the largest IT outsourcing shops in the world is looking at taking on the US health care market (from the WSJ Health Blog.)
President Obama discusses the importance of IT in health care yet again.

Emerging Technologies in Nurse Education is a seminar sponsored by Reed Elsevier, primarily for nursing educators. It brings up some very interesting topics, particularly use of simulator tools for nursing students.

GeekDoctor brings up another hot IT topic: Green IT. Green IT discusses ways of saving energy in the use of IT equipment by powering down servers and workstations when they are not in use. This can be better said than done in a 24/7/365 health care environment, and GeekDoctor highlights some interesting solutions.

One RN describes a weekend without technology on her unit in this article. End of Shift: Nurses get Back to Basics. (from

And finally, in the cool toys section, discusses the latest and greatest pulse oximeter. I'd really love to have one of these on the floor!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Right now, I'm contemplating several online master's degree programs, particularly an informatics degree. It can be a chore, since there are lots and lots of programs out there right now, called health care informatics, nursing informatics and medical informatics.

If you're a nurse and want to be board certified in informatics by the ANCC, you need the following:
  • Hold a current, active RN license within a state or territory of the United States or the professional, legally recognized equivalent in another country
  • Have practiced the equivalent of two years full time as a registered nurse
  • Hold a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing or a baccalaureate degree in a relevant field
  • Have completed 30 hours of continuing education in informatics within the last three years and meet one of the following practice requirements:
  • Have a practiced minimum of 2,000 hours in informatics nursing within the last three years
  • Have practiced a minimum of 1,000 hours in informatics nursing in the last three years and completed a minimum of 12 semester hours of academic credit in informatics courses which are a part of a graduate level informatics nursing program
  • Have completed a graduate program in nursing informatics containing a minimum of 200 hours of faculty supervised practicum in informatics
For more information on education in nursing informatics, check out ANIA's Education page (American Nursing Informatics Association).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Just what is The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act?

The technical terms are here on the House of Representatives site. GeekDoctor has his own post on this legislation at his blog.

If you're really into EHR (electronic health record) and exactly what it is and what's out there, don't miss The Ultimate Guide to Taking Control of your Health Records.

And in the etc. category, Nursing Central recently updated Taber's on it's Palm platform. This nurse is thoroughly enjoying it, even if I don't have wifi access on my device at work.