The feasibility of integrating the Omaha system data across home care agencies and vendors

Comput Inform Nurs. May-Jun 2010;28(3):162-71. doi: 10.1097/NCN.0b013e3181d7812c.


Federal and state initiatives are aligning around the goal that by 2014 all Americans will have electronic health records to support access to their health information any time and anywhere. As a key healthcare provider, nursing data must be included to enhance patient safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of care that is patient-centric. The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility of abstracting, integrating, and comparing the effective use of a standardized terminology, the Omaha System, across software vendors and 15 home care agencies. Results showed that the 2900 patients in this study had an average of four problems on care plans, with interventions most frequently addressing surveillance (39%) and teaching (30%). Findings in this study support the feasibility of integrating data across software vendors and agencies as well as the usefulness for describing care provided in home care. However, before exchanging data across systems, data quality issues found in this study need attention. There were missing data for 10.8% of patients as well as concerns about the validity of using the problem rating scale for outcomes. Strategies for effective use of standardized nursing terminologies are recommended.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Contract Services / organization & administration*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Home Care Agencies / organization & administration*
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Systems Integration*