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As I reflect on the theme of Nurses Week 2016 Culture of Safety: It Starts with You, I recall one of the first informatics nurse’s statement in the 1800s:

“In attempting to arrive at the truth, I have applied everywhere for information, but in scarcely an instance have I been able to obtain hospital records fit for any purposes of comparison.  If they could be obtained…they would show subscribers how their money was spent, what amounts of good was really being done with it, or whether the money was not doing mischief rather than good.” —Florence Nightingale

Healthcare, data and information permeate far beyond the four walls of a hospital today, in great part due to technology and innovation.  Nurses remain paramount to the creation of a safe environment and will continue to lead as health care team members in transforming our system to achieve the Triple Aim.  Nurses will also continue to lead in the design and development of products and technology solutions to foster a safe culture.  However, as nurses and healthcare team members, we need to remember that information technology only adds value to our system when it aligns with people and our processes. Furthermore, technology can augment but not replace humans in the care process.

As part of my own mission to help create a safer health system in my role at Microsoft, I attended Johns Hopkins’ High Reliability Healthcare Summit in February 2016.  I had the pleasure of meeting the Chief Nursing Officer from a hospital in Qatar, where she spoke about their intense focus on people and staff to reduce harm in their organization.   To create a culture focused on safety, she sited five important pillars to their nursing education and framework:

Get the correct information that is evidence-based and actionable; To the right people (clinicians and patients); In the right format; Through the right channels at the right time; In order to give the best care and achieve better patient outcomes.

These five pillars are enabling her hospital and all their nurses, regardless of practice level, to actively engage in a culture of safety.

At Microsoft in Health, my goal is to help our customers reinvent and innovate processes through the use of technology in order to better serve patients and populations.  Our mission at Microsoft is to make health and care personal, effective, and affordable for every person and every organization on the planet.  This mean that through our devices, platforms and partners, we strive to empower consumers, health professionals like nurses, and organizations to work together everywhere (virtually and physically) as peak performing teams where the patient is at the center of care.  We focus our efforts on three pillars or what we call bold strategic ambitions:

Reinvent productivity and business processes

Maximize individual and team performance by connecting people easily, inexpensively, and seamlessly to the team members, insights, and processes they need to achieve more.

Build the intelligent cloud platform

Increase interoperability, innovation, and operational efficiency across the continuum through a trusted and intelligent cloud platform and advanced, proactive analytics.

Create more personal computing

Enhance the consumer and clinician experience by making experiences mobile, integrated, and protected from error and attack. Our leadership in cybersecurity, privacy and control, compliance, and transparency demonstrates our commitment to serve as the trusted data steward of choice for the health industry.

I am extremely proud to be a nurse, and to work at Microsoft to help transform our profession and industry in order to better serve patients.  Thank you for all that you do every day in your career as a nurse!