Dr Virginia Saba passed away on 20 November.
Virginia was an early pioneer in the field of informatics and contributed significantly to the development of the discipline of nursing informatics. Working within the US public health service, her early work focused on what comprised nursing data and how it could be used to improve nursing’s visibility. She promoted nursing informatics as a new nursing specialty at national and international organisations, developing its professional requirements, standards and certification, and advocating its inclusion as a fundamental skill within all nursing domains – practice, management, education, and research. Virginia also assisted in establishing the first special interest group in nursing informatics, now known as the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Nursing Informatics Working Group.
She advanced nursing knowledge through her development of a wide-ranging standardised classification of nursing – the Clinical Care Classification (CCC) System – which continues to be used in the United States and several other countries. At the time, nursing had no ability to document patient problems and the interventions they used to address these problems. Her CCC System provides a set of standardised, coded patient care terminologies for electronic medical record input in nursing diagnoses, outcomes, and interventions in both acute and ambulatory settings.
Having published widely in the area of nursing informatics, her textbook co-authored with Kathleen McCormick – Essentials of Nursing Informatics – was first published in 1986 and this year’s release marked its 7th edition. In 2002 she received the American Academy of Nursing Living Legend Award, and in 2005 was recognised for her distinguished career and significant impact on the care of patients and the discipline of nursing by AMIA. This recognition led to AMIA presenting the Virginia K. Saba Informatics Award annually to a professional with exemplary principles and practices and a substantial record of contribution to the field of nursing informatics.