In the fall of 1979, I was the starting right halfback on Old Saybrook
High School’s varsity field hockey team. The year before had been a
season of high expectations but ultimately low achievement for our
team, and in the spring most of the starters graduated, moving on to
other places. In response, the ’79 season was dubbed a ‘rebuilding year’
by our small-town newspaper, as nearly the entire varsity team was
replaced by our less-experienced junior varsity members. Admittedly,
we were a pretty motley crew:Â€jocks, hippies, preppies, and nerds.
Science and engineering have dominated world events and world culture for at least
150 years. The blind and near blind have been made to see. The deaf and near deaf have
been made to hear. The ill have been made well. The weak have been made strong.
Radio, television and the internet have made the world seem smaller. And some of us
have left the planet. Computers have played an essential role in all of these
developments; they are now ubiquitous. These miraculous events happened by design—
not by accident. Individuals and teams set out to accomplish goals.
The field of health informatics is taking center stage in the 21st
century. As the information age evolves into the knowledge age, the
enabling technologies will give us access to the data, information, and
knowledge we need, whatever our discipline or field. Within nursing and
across the healthcare team, we will look to these enablers to strengthen
our ability to act knowledgeably on behalf of — and in concert with —
the patient. Although informatics has already changed the way we
practice our professions, we will continue our journey of transformation