As tech­nology con­tinues to become more inte­grated into everyday life, Northeastern’s School of Nursing in the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences held a sym­po­sium Wednesday night to dis­cuss how nurses can take advan­tage of infor­ma­tion tech­nology to improve patient care.

The sym­po­sium, titled “New Health­care: How to Nurse IT” and held in the Raytheon Amphithe­ater, also high­lighted how North­eastern is preparing nursing stu­dents to become leaders in their field.

Hoda Sayed-​​Friel, a 1980 grad­uate of Northeastern’s former Col­lege of Phar­macy and Allied Health, served as the keynote speaker. For the last 25 years she has worked for MEDITECH, a leading soft­ware vendor in the health­care infor­matics industry, and is cur­rently the company’s exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of strategy and marketing.

Hoda is a remark­able example of a North­eastern alumna who exem­pli­fies the highest stan­dards of her industry and makes every effort to give back to Bouvé on a con­tin­uous basis. We are so grateful for her sup­port and lead­er­ship,” said Terry Fulmer, dean of the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sciences.

Sayed-​​Friel reflected on the syn­ergy between new tech­nology and health­care, and how nurses can respond to and take advan­tage of changes taking place in this area. These changes include how health­care providers will be reim­bursed for hos­pice care and how patients are increas­ingly informing them­selves about their health conditions.

Patients are becoming more edu­cated, and they are asking better ques­tions,” Sayed-​​Friel told the atten­dees. “And they are going to be involved, which is a good thing. We need to take time to answer those questions.”

Whether health­care pro­fes­sionals are doc­u­menting pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures, such as flu vac­cines, or engaging patients who have returned home after treat­ment, Sayed-​​Friel said tech­nology should be part of that process. She even encour­aged health­care pro­fes­sionals in the audi­ence to use new com­mu­ni­ca­tion methods like tex­ting and web mes­saging to remind them to take their medication.

If you don’t go to them they are going to be coming back to you,” Sayed-​​Friel said, ref­er­encing the need to address patient com­pli­ance to pre­vent unnec­es­sary and costly readmissions.

The sym­po­sium was a pre­cursor to the School of Nursing’s 50th anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tion on Nov. 2. Carole Kenner, dean of the School of Nursing, noted that health infor­matics and health­care delivery has many stake­holders, including higher edu­ca­tion, industry, nurse clin­i­cians, and other health­care professions.

The tech­nology rev­o­lu­tion is rapidly changing how care is deliv­ered,” Kenner said. “As Ms. Sayad-​​Friel illus­trated, we must embrace tech­nology. As edu­ca­tors we must ensure that are stu­dents con­tinue to make care human while using data to plan and pro­vide care.”

North­eastern and MEDITECH have cre­ated a part­ner­ship to inte­grate tech­nology into nursing edu­ca­tion, which includes devel­oping a first-​​of-​​its-​​kind cur­riculum for dis­ease man­agers and case managers.

It’s col­lab­o­ra­tions between industry and edu­ca­tion like the one North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and MEDITECH share that advance the inno­va­tion and inte­gra­tion of IT into all phases of health­care,” said Laura Mylott, a clin­ical pro­fessor in the School of Nursing.

Mylott added that the School of Nursing rec­og­nized early on that health IT would play an essen­tial role in prac­tice edu­ca­tion and its prin­ci­pals and con­cepts are inte­grated in both the under­grad­uate and grad­uate nursing cur­riculum. This includes elec­tronic doc­u­men­ta­tion and the use of sim­u­la­tion lessons to train nursing students.

The part­ner­ship between North­eastern and MEDITECH has been enor­mously pro­duc­tive in terms of advancing edu­ca­tional oppor­tu­ni­ties of high fidelity sim­u­la­tion,” Mylott said.