1. Martin, Karen S. MSN, RN, FAAN
  2. Monsen, Karen A. PhD, RN

Article Content

The Omaha System International Conference was held in Eagan, MN, on April 7-9, 2011. Participants came from 15 states and from Canada, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. Twenty-five speakers and 20 posters presenters representing practice, education, research, and information technology described their experiences using the Omaha System. They are employed in home care, public health, hospice, acute care, long-term care, case management, nurse-managed centers, parish nursing, child care, and university settings. The conference was presented by Martin Associates, and the school host was The Valley Foundation School of Nursing at San Jose State University (CA).


The theme of the conference was electronic health records and meaningful use of clinical data. Speakers emphasized a broader definition of meaningful use than that described in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.1 They focused on the need to exchange data and increase interoperability to improve the quality of healthcare services regardless of the disciplines involved or the setting. The need for all healthcare professionals to work as partners with managers, administrators, system engineers, and software developers was emphasized as was the need for all students to be introduced to standardized terminologies such as the Omaha System.


An exciting new feature of the conference was the presentations of awards for meaningful and continued contributions to the Omaha System in practice, education, and research.


* Suzanne Plemmons, MN, RN, PHCNS-BC, received the Excellence in Practice Award. As the community health director of Kitsap County Health District, Bremerton, WA, Suzanne became aware of the Omaha System in 2003 and led the effort to standardize outcome data at the local and state levels. In 2006, Suzanne led the successful implementation of the Omaha System and an EHR at her health district. She helped organize a Washington State Users Group.


* Karen A. Monsen, PhD, RN, received the Excellence in Education Award. Karen is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, Minneapolis, where she is the director of the Omaha System Partnership for Knowledge Discovery and Health Care Quality. Karen founded the Minnesota Omaha System Users Group in 2001 and provides support for Users Groups in the United States and internationally.


* Kathryn H. Bowles, PhD, RN, FAAN received the Excellence in Research Award. Kathy is an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia. While a doctoral student in 1996, she conducted the first Omaha System study in an acute care setting. Kathy leads a program of federally and foundation-funded research that involves the Omaha System and information technology to improve healthcare and clinical decision making for older adults.





1. Martin KS, Monsen KA, Bowles KH. The Omaha System and meaningful use: applications for practice, education, and research. Comput Inform Nurs. 2011;29(1):52-58. [Context Link]