Ellen Harper, DNP, RN-BC, MBA, Alumna of American Sentinel’s online DNP Executive Leadership program, was recently named an American Academy of Nursing Fellow. Her clinical practice, focus on technology and informatics was key in establishing her evidence-based career as a leader in modern health care.
Nursing informatics expert joins an elite group of Fellows, comments on health care informatics
The American Academy of Nursing recently named American Sentinel alumna Ellen Harper, DNP, RN-BC, MBA, as a 2013 Fellow. With more than 2.8 million nurses in the U.S. and more than 3 million expected by 2020, selection for fellowship in the Academy is one of the most prestigious honors in the field of nursing. Dr. Harper was one of 172 nursing leaders across the country to be selected and one of only two individuals chosen from Missouri. The Fellows were inducted during the Academy’s 40th annual meeting on Oct. 19, 2013 in Washington D.C.
“It is a great honor and privilege to be included in such an elite group of nursing colleagues,” says Dr. Harper. “My clinical practice as a nurse informatician is focused on using technology and informatics to automate evidence-based, interdisciplinary, patient-centered workflows. To represent nursing informaticists in the Academy is very exciting.”
Dr. Harper is the vice president/chief nursing officer of Cerner Corporation, where she has held various leadership roles throughout her 20 years there. Cerner is one of the world’s largest providers of health care information technologies. Dr. Harper graduated with a Doctor of Nursing Practice Executive Leadership in American Sentinel’s inaugural class in 2012. For her capstone project, she developed an evidence-based nurse staffing model, “Clinical Demand Index,” which extracts data from electronic health records to better assess patient care needs and determine RN staffing needs.
“Health care reform has been a catalyst to make health care informatics meaningful for clinicians as well as all health care personnel,” says Dr. Harper. “Today, nurses and those on the front lines can use health information technology and the data that caregivers put into a health system to drive clinical decision support in ways they could never do in the past. Health care providers are continually incentivized to reduce costs and simultaneously improve the quality of patient care and outcomes. Technology is critical.”
The American Academy of Nursing is composed of more than 2,000 nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy and research. Fellows include hospital and government administrators, college deans and renowned scientific researchers. Dr. Harper and the other Fellows were selected based on their significant contributions to nursing and health care.
Dr. Harper elevated the applied component of informatics to a new standard of innovation by aligning coded data structures, taxonomies and nomenclature definitions. In the United States, Dr. Harper’s work continues to shape the eSubmission of the practice, advancing standards promulgated by Magnet, the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators and the National Quality Forum. These functional data designs, along with technical specifications for eSubmission, are the core interoperability activities used by all the nurse organizations for quality outcomes.