In Memoriam: Dr. Virginia Saba

It is with heavy hearts that we, the HCA Healthcare family, share the sad
news of the passing of Dr. Virginia Saba, researcher, developer, and
matriarch of the Clinical Care Classification system. Dr. Saba ensured that
the practice of nursing and the essence of nursing care was traceable as a
result of the CCC terminology system. While the bases of the science
underpinning the terminology is rooted in informatics, it is by her efforts
that the profession of nursing is better understood and quantifiable
measures the value of nursing care. At her core, Virginia was and remains
a nurse.

Dr. Patti Dykes, Chair/President American Medical Informatics Association
Board of Directors, provided a very nice summary of Virginia’s career:

“For 50 years, Dr. Saba has been known nationally and internationally as a
leading pioneer in the use of emerging technologies in nursing and
healthcare. She organized the first National Nursing Informatics (NI)
Conference at the NIH and she established the first NI working group
(precursor to NIWG) at the then leading healthcare conference “Annual
Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care (SCAMC)”. Dr. Saba
holds honorary doctoral degrees from University of Maryland, Excelsior
College, University of Athens, Athens, Greece, and University of Eastern
Finland in Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland and in 2002, she was named a Living
Legend by the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Saba has been a Fellow of
the American College of Medical Informatics for three decades.

Dr. Saba was one of the early members of the International Medical
Informatics Association’s (IMIA) Nursing Informatics Special Interest Group
(NI-SIG) where she served as the secretary (1994- 1997), Vice Chair (1997-
2000) and Chair (2000-2003). At the recent NI2018 meeting, Dr. Saba was
awarded the IMIA NI-SIG Leadership award.

Dr. Saba conducted research to develop a terminology system, the Clinical
Care Classification System for documenting the essence of nursing care and
tracking the impact of nursing practice on patient outcomes. The CCC
system has been adopted by several health care institutions in United
States and in internationally. It has been mapped to ICNP and SNOMED-CT.

Dr. Saba initiated formation of American Nursing Association’s (ANA)
Council for Computer Applications in Nursing which developed the “Scope
and Standards of Nursing Informatics Practice” and the ANA nursing
informatics certification program. She served as one of the original editors
for the Computers in Nursing (CIN) Journal (now called CIN: Computers,
Informatics, Nursing).”

Many of us at HCA Healthcare had the honor of working with her to deploy
full enterprise use of the CCC system in our nursing documentation,
planning the CCC Summit, and enjoying her effusive collaboration on all
things. She always had time for any and all at the Summit, making sure that
everyone had a copy of the CCC system handbook, with autograph, and a
picture with her. It was during those times when her smile was brightest
and her laughter filled the air.

The nursing profession has lost a powerful voice. It is, however, with great
assurance that the language of nursing will be perpetual, as a result of her
work. The great legacy of Dr. Virginia Saba has given voice to the
contribution of each and every nurse, assured by her nursing wisdom.

Details of arrangements to celebrate her extraordinary life will follow. Dr.
Saba will be buried in Adams, MA., USA.

Dr. Virginia Saba
Dr. Virginia Saba
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