Omaha System

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The Omaha System is a standardized health care terminology consisting of an assessment component (Problem Classification Scheme), a care plan/services component (Intervention Scheme), and an evaluation component (Problem Rating Scale for Outcomes). Approximately 22,000 health care practitioners, educators, and researchers use Omaha System to improve clinical practice, structure documentation, and analyze secondary data. Omaha System users from Canada, China, The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Turkey, the United States, and Wales, have presented at Omaha System International Conferences.[1]

The Omaha System is integrated into the National Library of Medicine's Metathesaurus,[2] CINAHL,[3] ABC Codes,[4] NIDSEC,[5] Logical Observation Identifiers, Names, and Codes (LOINC),[6] and SNOMED CT.[5] It is registered (recognized) by Health Level Seven (HL7),[7] and is congruent with the reference terminology model for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).The Omaha System has the ability to code the majority of the problems and interventions from the hospital record.[8]


The Omaha System originated at the Visiting Nurse Association of Omaha (located in Nebraska) as a collaborative effort between researchers and interprofessional practitioners.[9] Practitioners developed the Omaha System as part of four federally funded research projects conducted between 1975 and 1993.The Omaha System was constantly refined in its structure and terms during this period to establish reliability, validity, and usability.[1]


Users include nurses, physicians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, registered dietitians, recreational therapists, speech and language pathologists, and social workers.When multidisciplinary health teams use the Omaha System accurately and consistently, they have an effective basis for documentation, communication, coordination of care, and outcome measurement.[10]

Use in nursing[edit]

The American Nurses Association recognized the Omaha System as a standardized terminology to support nursing practice in 1992. In 2014, Minnesota became the first state to recommend ANA-recognized point-of-care terminologies be used in all Electronic Health Records (EHRs). The evidence underlying this decision was a survey that showed that the Omaha System was used in 96.5% of Minnesota counties. The Omaha System became a member of the Alliance for Nursing Informatics in 2009. It is a reliable nursing documentation tool for outcome and quality of care measurement for clients with mental illness.[11] The Omaha System is also a tool that can be used as a strategy to introduce and incorporate evidence-based practice in the undergraduate nursing clinical experience.[12] Tools that can be utilized in the Omaha System include a comprehensive list of client health problems, nursing interventions, and an outcome rating scale assessing client knowledge, behavior, and health status to standardize nursing care and client outcomes.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Martin KS. (2005). The Omaha System: A Key to Practice, Documentation, and Information Management (Reprinted 2nd ed.). Omaha, NE: Health Connections Press.
  2. ^ "Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) - Home". Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  3. ^ "CINAHL Databases". Ebsco Publishing. 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  4. ^ "ABC Coding Solutions". Alternative Link. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  5. ^ a b "Nursing Information & Data Set Evaluation Center". Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  6. ^ "Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC)". Regenstrief Institute, Inc. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  7. ^ "Welcome to Health Level Seven International". Health Level Seven International. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  8. ^ "The omaha system: Bridging hospital and home care". Retrieved 2013-05-16.
  9. ^ "The Omaha System and Meaningful Use: Applications for Practice, Education, and Research". CIN. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  10. ^ "The Omaha System: Coded Data That Describe Patient Care". AHIMA. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
  11. ^ Barrera C, Machanga M, Connolly PM, Yoder M. "Nursing care makes a difference. Application of the Omaha system". Outcomes Manag. 7: 181–5. PMID 14618777.
  12. ^ Canham D, Mao CL, Yoder M, Connolly P, Dietz E. "The Omaha System and quality measurement in academic nurse-managed centers: ten steps for implementation". J Nurs Educ. 47: 105–10. doi:10.3928/01484834-20080301-01. PMID 18380263.
  13. ^ Cohen J, Saylor C, Holzemer WL, Gorenberg B. "Linking nursing care interventions with client outcomes: a community-based application of an outcomes model". J Nurs Care Qual. 15: 22–31. doi:10.1097/00001786-200010000-00004. PMID 11008436.

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