ACENDIO conference - Innovating for the future

The recent ACENDIO European conference focused strongly on the contribution that nursing can make to eHealth, writes Fintan Sheerin

The Association for Common European Nursing Diagnoses, Interventions and Outcomes (ACENDIO) held its ninth biennial European conference in the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin, from March 22-23.

The Association, which has been in existence since 1995, promotes the use of standardised languages to support nurses and midwives to communicate the contribution that they are making to healthcare. This allows us to describe nursing – its practice, its focus and its expert decisions – so that this contribution can be properly quantified, resourced and researched, ensuring quality healthcare for patients.

In recent years, ACENDIO has been exploring the importance of eHealth in the changing healthcare environment. This has included the development of a coherent nursing input to the European eHealth Strategy, which was undertaken by a working group in Dublin in 2012.

The biennial conference has come at an appropriate time, as the European eHealth Summit will be held in the Dublin Convention Centre this month. Furthermore, the Healthcare Informatics Society of Ireland (HISI-NM) is building its nursing and midwifery capacity with close links being developed between HISI-NM and ACENDIO.

The ACENDIO conference was the first opportunity for the INMO to come together in the company of 130 international experts from more than 20 countries. The event was opened by Dr Michael Shannon, chief nursing executive of the HSE, and Elizabeth Adams, director of professional development at the INMO. Their contribution was warmly received.

Keynote speakers included Prof Anne-Marie Rafferty from Kings College London, Prof Jane Grimson of HIQA, Dr Liam MacGabhann of DCU and Prof Bonnie Westra from the University of Minnesota.

While focused on eHealth, the 45 parallel papers, 39 posters and six workshops addressed many topics related to nursing informatics including: nursing diagnoses, interventions and outcomes; standardisation of nursing language; data sets and terminologies; the electronic patient record; patient safety and population health; self-care in the community; nursing decision-making and decision support.

Pictured at the conference were (l-r): Fintan Sheerin, ACENDIO vice president; Kathy Mølstad, ACENDIO secretary; ACENDIO board members, Martin Lysser; Anna Ehrenberg and Susana Martín Iglesias; Walter Sermeus, ACENDIO president; Claudio de Pieri, board member; and Ulla-Mari Kinnunen, ACENDIO treasurer

Also pictured (l-r) were: Dr Michael Shannon,HSE; Prof Anne Marie Rafferty, King’s College London; Elizabeth Adams, INMO director of professional development; Prof Walter Sermeus, ACENDIO president

There was also opportunity for networking and this was facilitated by a most enjoyable conference dinner at the Jameson Distillery where participants were entertained with tastes of Irish food, music, dance and, of course, some whiskey.

Following the conference, the INMO has received many messages of gratitude from across the world, including from the executive director of NANDA-I, indicating that this was one of the best ACENDIO conferences to date.

There were many supporters behind the success and smooth running of the conference. Locally, we wish to acknowledge the assistance of our colleagues in HISI-NM, particularly Dr Pamela Hussey and Dr Rita Collins. We would like to single out Elizabeth Adams for special mention as it was through her that the INMO made various kinds of support available to us.

We look forward to mutually fruitful collaborations in the near future between our two organisations; this can only be to the betterment of Irish nursing and midwifery.

Informatics evolution
Healthcare informatics is evolving at an immense rate and often nurses and midwives are not central to the key decisions that will impact on their practice and, consequently, on their patients. This is a subject that is relevant to all areas of nursing and midwifery.

You are encouraged to become actively involved in your national group, HISI (, and at a European level in ACENDIO (

Fintan Sheerin is the vice president of ACENDIO and acting director of the National Institute for Intellectual Disability, Trinity College Dublin

ACENDIO conference - Innovating for the future


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