Classification Models: What is the Omaha System?

NANDA, NIC, NOC, Omaha System, ICF, and RAI are terms I’ve come across a lot lately. We’ve all heard about it, but what can you do with it? A brief summary of the Omaha system.

(Image: Arno Massey)

What is the Omaha system?

The Omaha system was developed in the United States between 1975 and 1986. The system was created for public health professionals with support from researchers. The Omaha system provides a framework for exploring client areas of interest, documenting these areas of interest, describing multidisciplinary interventions and measuring the initial position and outcomes for each area of ​​interest. The nurse engages in an open conversation with the client and together determines what areas of interest are and what is required to achieve the desired results. The Omaha system is not a decision support tool, but a tool for describing the nursing process in a clear way.

Who uses the Omaha system?

In principle, the Omaha system can be used in all patients, but it is currently used primarily in home care. Preparation for an inpatient extension is underway.

What does the Omaha system consist of?

The Omaha system consists of three interrelated components: problem classification, intervention classification and outcome scale. He distinguishes areas of focus in four different areas:
1. The physiological field
2. The behavioral domain of health
3. The environmental field
4. The psychological and social field

Interventions have three levels:
1. Four main groups of procedures such as advice, guidance and counseling, handling and enforcement of procedures, case management, monitoring and control.
2. Specifications of measures such as preventing infection, dealing with anger, and treating wounds.
3. Customer information.

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Is there scientific evidence for the Omaha system?

The Omaha System is scientifically grounded and is being tested in practice. 7 However, several studies indicate that more research is needed to find out if the Omaha System provides sufficient capabilities to support pathogens in diagnosis.

Nursing researcher Jef Adriaenssens says: “ Although I am a huge supporter of scientific proof, we should not engage in an endless debate about whether or not the classification is sufficiently scientifically proven. It is especially important that the classification is useful in a nurse’s practice. In primary care in Flanders, results have already been achieved with Omaha along with other classification systems

Advantages and disadvantages of the Omaha system

Omaha is digitally available and can be integrated into electronic files
– The Omaha system supports the entire nursing process; It contains a rating to describe areas of interest, a classification of actions and a method for scoring a client.
– It fits well with social healthcare, because it applies not only to clients, but also to their families or society, regardless of age, medical diagnosis or place of residence.
– Relatively easy to understand and use.

The Omaha System is not a decision support tool. It gives nurses less guidance when making a diagnosis.
The Omaha system has not yet or occasionally been used in residential care or mental health care.

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