A University of Salford academic has won an award in the US for his contribution to nursing informatics.

Dr Nick Hardiker, Professor of Nursing and Health Informatics at the Greater Manchester University and chair of the Chief Nursing Information Officer Network, travelled to Washington DC to receive the Virginia K. Saba Informatics Award from Virginia K. Saba herself.

He told Digital Health News it was ‘humbling’ to be the first person outside the US to win the award and said many of his heroes had been previous winners.

The award recognises an individual’s distinguished career and significant impact on the care of patients and the discipline of nursing. It honours a professional with exemplary principles and practices and a substantial record of contribution to the field of nursing informatics..

Nursing informatics focuses on solutions that can improve information communications and management in nursing with the ultimate aim of improving health and care.

Prof Hardiker, who has been working in the field for nearly 25 years, has made a significant contribution to advancements in the representation of nursing and health care data.

Prof Hardiker describes technology as being ‘transformative’ in the health industry adding that it can help address challenges faced by the nursing profession, such as skills shortages.

When questioned about NHS Digital’s chief nurse, Anne Cooper’s, call for the profession to have a shared electronic language, Hardiker said that robust nursing standards already exist – the real challenge is to ensure they are adopted universally.

Prof Hardiker, who was appointed chair of the national Chief Nursing Informatics Officer Network in 2017, said that if this could be achieved, he believes healthcare would be improved.

Earlier this month, the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) told Digital Health News that it also echoed calls for nurses to have a shared electronic language.

The organisation, which is funded by NHS Digital to develop clinical standards for health and care records, hinted that it was already working with the nursing community.