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Issued:20/02/12

A Sheffield Hallam University-pioneered course is equipping the nurses and midwives of tomorrow with the online skills they need to meet new government recommendations.

More than 2,500 undergraduates at the University have signed up to Systems Of eCare, which equips them with the information management knowledge to ensure high quality patient care.

And a symposium is being held at the University on Tuesday 6 March to encourage more universities to embed the system into their own curriculums, as well as raising awareness of how to incorporate modern thinking into 21st century nursing.

It comes after the Prime Minister's Commission On The Future of Midwifery and Nursing found that health professionals need a better understanding of new information management and technology processes.

The way we handle information is more important than ever and the NHS has not been immune from patient confidentiality breaches and data handling errors.

Symposium organiser Paula Procter, reader in Informatics and Telematics in Nursing, says that the Systems Of eCare programme runs alongside the three-year undergraduate courses, meaning that students can begin their careers with a working knowledge of complex information management and technology systems.

She said: "Health informatics is recognised as a valued profession in the public and private health care sectors but many undergraduate degrees do not incorporate elements of it in their programmes.

"Medical research and the delivery of health services depend on reliable computer-based systems and the information-processing skills to back this up.

"The Prime Minister has urged the nursing profession to improve its IT skills - and Sheffield Hallam is definitely ahead of the curve in embedding this eCare element into its programmes."

The symposium, Nursing And The Information Agenda, takes place on 6 March 2012 in the Howard Building at City Campus, from 12.30pm to 3.30pm.

Speakers include Peter Murray from the International Medical Informatics Association, Richard Hayward from the British Computer Society, Jane Smith, National Clinical Lead for Nursing (Learning Disability) and Paula Procter.

To register for the event, visit the website at http://www.shu.ac.uk/ad/hwb/nursingsymposium/index.html

For press information contact: Laurie Harvey on 0114 225 2621 or email pressoffice@shu.ac.uk