Carol Bickford is a trailblazer in nursing informatics. Her career in healthcare started 40 years ago in the Navy Nurse Corps, and she's still an outspoken advocate of patient-centric health IT. Bickford describes herself as "a canary in the mine." Health IT must address the full spectrum of patients in all care settings, she said.
Bickford is a registered nurse and nursing Ph.D. who's held medical-surgical, ambulatory care, administrative, and informatics positions. She's now a senior policy fellow in nursing practice and policy at the American Nurses Association, providing input to government initiatives, including the National Committee for Vital and Health Statistics and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.
She also tells policymakers that even though nurses aren't eligible for Meaningful Use incentives, they are important to health IT. The emerging role of chief nursing informatics officer is a step in the right direction, she said, because the job makes sure health IT addresses all levels of patient care.