Derek Hoy: The Legacy of the First Scottish Nursing Informatician

Friday, 28 July 2017

Siobhan O'Connor, BSc, CIMA, CBA
School of Health and Social Care, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Purpose:  Derek Hoy was a prominent Scottish nursing informatician. This paper aims to explore his career and its impact on nursing, patients and the health services in Scotland and beyond.

Methods: A literature review of Derek's academic research was undertaken to establish his contribution to nursing informatics as a field. An exploratory case study approach was adopted to explore his career in depth. A selection of people are being interviewed including his wife and close personal colleagues in the National Health Service (NHS), Glasgow Caledonian University where he worked and the Scottish Government among others. The qualitative dataset will undergo thematic analysis using the constant comparative method.

Results: Preliminary results show that Derek made a significant contribution to his field. He developed numerous electronic applications including AGNIS (A Generic Nursing Information System) to capture nursing assessments, interventions and care plans. He also worked on the Scottish Health Service EPPIC (Effective Purchasing and Providing in the Community) project to use minimum patient and nursing datasets in combination with mobile devices to improve care delivery. His most ambitious and successful eHealth project was the ALISS (Access to Local Information Systems to Support Self-Management, which is still in use supporting people with long-term conditions in Scotland today. He also worked with international colleagues on numerous digital health initiatives such as International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP) a data standard for nursing and patient records. Derek also taught nursing and informatics to students at Glasgow Caledonian University and inspired many in the profession to pursue clinical careers that utilised technology to the fullest.

Conclusion: Derek Hoy’s writing and work spans a 20 year timeframe from the early 1990’s right up until his death in 2012. This demonstrates a clear commitment to developing nursing informatics as an important clinical and academic speciality in the United Kingdom and further afield.