Today’s fiscal constraints and emphasis on accountability push us to demonstrate the outcomes of our services at all levels: individual, family, group, community, system.
This is a daunting task.
In brief, the KBS data we get from the Omaha System enable us to talk about the needs of a population (prevalence and severity of problems of the clients we serve).
- We can aggregate data about individuals to show population health needs: http://omahasystemmn.org/documents/Posters/2011/2011-03-22_WA_CSHCN_Omaha_Poster_final-1.pdf
- Then we can also talk about the impact of our programs – the change we see in the problems of the clients we serve: http://omahasystemmn.org/documents/Posters/2010-08-09SandyBodnerTPCHDposter.pdf http://omahasystemmn.org/documents/Posters/OS_MCH_WashingtonCounty.pdf
- We can also use the data to forecast care needs: http://omahasystemmn.org/documents/Posters/2011/2011-03-30_Maternal_Risk_Index_Poster_km_cf.pdf
- We have used KBS data in many studies benchmarking care across jurisdictions, comparing outcomes of populations of interest such as high risk mothers and frail elders, and linking interventions and outcomes (see omahasystempartnership.org).
There are several examples of applications of the Omaha System at the family, group, community, and system levels.
Some of them are published on-line at www.omahasystemmn.org.
- Here is a recent example from Otter Tail County, Minnesota for obesity: http://omahasystemmn.org/Careplans/PeerReviewed/OtterTail/ObesityEpidemicCaseStudy.pdf
- And another from Washington County, Minnesota for asthma: http://omahasystemmn.org/Careplans/resp_cardiac_end/Washington_Asthma_Community.pdf
There is a study in progress applying a community level intervention for obesity – you are welcome to join this study! If you are interested, here is more information: http://db.tt/1VyanqJb
The precedent for use of KBS ratings at the community level was established over 10 years ago.
The fundamental next step toward successful dissemination of this method is to work together as we compile examples of KBS rating guides for problems we address with families, groups, communities, and systems.
In every analysis, we find that KBS ratings are a compelling voice for public health nurses and clients – we are so fortunate to have this language!