Improvements in healthcare delivery in recent years are rooted in the continued industry-wide investment
in information technology and the expanding role of medical informatics. Endeavors to combine
medical science and technology have resulted in a growing knowledge base of techniques and applications
for healthcare delivery and information management in support of patient care, research and education.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) Social Policy
Statement of 1980 was the first to define nursing as the diagnosis
and treatment of human responses to actual and potential
health problems. This definition, when combined with the ANA
Standards of Practice, has provided impetus and support for the
use of nursing diagnosis. Defining nursing and its effect on
client care supports the growing awareness that nursing care is
a key factor in client survival and in the maintenance, rehabilitative,
and preventive aspects of healthcare.
Over a century ago, with the work of Alexander Graham Bell, the motivation underlying
the first use of the telephone in communication had a health-related origin: a
doctor attempted to be in contact with his deaf mother and sister. Early developments
in electronic patient records took place over 40 years ago through the pioneering
work of Ed Hammond and his interest in community and family medicine. Very
soon, the European Union will be celebrating a 20-year history of co-financing
eHealth research and development initiatives.