179087 Omaha System solutions: Teaching public health nursing informatics at the undergraduate and graduate levels

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Karen A. Monsen, PhD RN , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Madeleine J. Kerr, PhD, RN , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Linda Olson Keller, DNP, RN, FAAN , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Karen S. Martin, RN, MSN, FAAN , Martin Associates, Omaha, NE
Today's pressing information needs in public health practice have stimulated considerable interest in using standardized terminologies to describe the work of public health with individuals, families, communities. To keep pace with this rapidly advancing agenda, it is critical to prepare the future and existing public health workforce in using standardized terminology for documentation, program evaluation, and program effectiveness research. Because the Omaha System has been adopted as a point of care standard by software vendors and public health agencies, skills in using the Omaha System classification and data have become fundamental for practicing public health professionals and managers. Faculty responded to these needs, tailoring course development based on multidisciplinary learner needs and industry trends. For undergraduate learners, Omaha System examples were incorporated into existing courses. For example, a health informatics course included Omaha System pathways for asthma management, and a public health nursing course used the Omaha System to identify community strengths and problems in the community assessment process. For graduate learners, an introductory course was developed to provide a standardized language immersion experience. Learning objectives focused on fluency in using the Omaha System to identify, prioritize, and rate health problems and describe health care interventions; interpreting and critiquing Omaha System pathways for describing best practices; and identifying data quality issues in Omaha System documentation. An advanced course was developed to teach data analysis methods for program evaluation purposes; articulating the inter-relationship between documentation policies, practice standards, data generated in practice, and client outcomes; provide opportunities to practice analyzing Omaha System data; and create and critique reports to describe outcomes to administrators and decision makers. Incorporating Omaha System skill development throughout the undergraduate and graduate curricula advances health informatics skills, and understanding of the benefits of using a standardized terminology, to support the work of public health.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify ways of tailoring informatics education to meet needs of public health work force. 2. Understand the potential of standardized classifications to advance informatics education experiences related to data standards, sharing, analysis, and reporting. 3. Understand the potential of standardized classifications to support data sharing and program evaluation in public health.

Keywords: Health Information, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in designing and teaching public health informatics courses described in the presentation. I implemented a computerized documentation system in a public health agency in 1998, and have 9 years experience with information systems and related data analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.