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Keywords

health information technology, meaningful use, nursing, Omaha System, standardized terminology

 

Authors

  1. MARTIN, KAREN S. MSN, RN, FAAN
  2. MONSEN, KAREN A. PhD, RN
  3. BOWLES, KATHRYN H. PhD, RN, FAAN

Abstract

Meaningful use has become ubiquitous in the vocabulary of health information technology. It suggests that better healthcare does not result from the adoption of technology and electronic health records, but by increasing interoperability and informing clinical decisions at the point of care. Although the initial application of meaningful use was limited to eligible professionals and hospitals, it incorporates complex processes and workflow that involve all nurses, other healthcare practitioners, and settings. The healthcare community will become more integrated, and interdisciplinary practitioners will provide enhanced patient-centered care if electronic health records adopt the priorities of meaningful use. Standardized terminologies are a necessary component of such electronic health records. The Omaha System is an exemplar of a standardized terminology that enables meaningful use of clinical data to support and improve patient-centered clinical practice, education, and research. It is user-friendly, generates data that can be shared with patients and their families, and enables healthcare providers to analyze and exchange patient-centered coded data. Use of the Omaha System is increasing steadily in diverse practice, education, and research settings nationally and internationally.