Norah SavardI recently took part in my third year of guest lecturing a course for the Nursing PhD program out of Ohio State University with Dr. Vicky Elfrink.

The assignment was to develop interventions for a population based on the data gathered from an electronic health record that is using a standardized language.

In this case, the Omaha System.  The students are given case studies to enter and they are oriented to Champ Software’s Nightingale Notes, the electronic health record they will be entering their data into.

Then the magic happens!

The students are shown how everything they enter into the record can now be pulled out into a report.

That a race can now be correlated to the intervention you completed during a particular month or that they can look at certain zip codes and view the outcomes of certain areas of focus.

In this day and age where funding sources are looking at the outcomes of where their monies are going, it’s important that our future nursing leaders are well aware of the importance of electronic health records and their place in producing outcome driven data.

Electronic health records are more than just electronic “charting devices”.  They also must contain the ability to pull out meaningful data.

At the core of this is having a standardized language with the ability to record outcomes, such as the Omaha System.

Congratulations to Ohio State University, Dr. Vicky Elfrink and other such fine institutions for having the foresight to prepare our nursing leaders for the technology challenges of tomorrow!