BRENNAN healthsystems LAB

Jane Peace
Current Research Activities

Getting the right information in a timely manner for patient care is a challenge many nurses face on a daily basis.  Even if the nurse could identify what information is needed, and know what that information is located, reviewing, organizing and synthesizing that information taxes even the most efficient thinker. Because nurses do not consider phenomena, or clients, in isolation, but in the context of systems, lives, processes, beliefs, and feelings, and in relation to other phenomena, nursing knowledge is complex. While the human brain is well able to process and integrate information, computers are not set up to accurately represent these complexities of nursing knowledge.  As the amount of information that nurses must manage increases, and as the rate at which information important to nurses is produced accelerates, representing nursing knowledge accurately within computers becomes more essential.  New approaches to creating links between computer-stored knowledge relevant to nurses may provide the means for building complex knowledge representations which would be beneficial to nurses.  The “semantic web”  is one strategy that may make these linkages.  The semantic web represents an improvement over existing strategies (such as those used by Google) because it creates connections based not only on the meaning of words in a document but also by the ways in which concepts in those documents are incorporated in specific theories.  Nurses can help create semantic webs that are useful for their practice by mapping out the connections between concepts and ideas, and building ontologies and other knowledge representations that operationalize those nursing models and theories.

Date last modified: 03/26/2007 10:57:24 AM CST
Date created: 04-Oct-2004
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