Abstract: Data research repositories and networks, the backbone of many retrospective informatics research projects, contain selected “most relevant” data transformed from the electronic health record. Data models commonly include patient demographic information, encounter context information, and key clinical data (e.g., medication, diagnosis, and procedure). Nursing data, however, is seldom included. Common Data Models (e.g., OMOP and PCORnet CDMs), research networks (PCORnet and NIH ACT), and ontology/terminology curation organizations (e.g., BioPortal) have largely ignored nursing data. However, in hospitals, nurses provide most direct care to patients, diligently document patient states, and routinely make decisions and implement interventions based on these clinical assessments. Flowsheet data provide structured documentation that goes beyond physiologic measures to assessments of well-being and wellness (e.g., activities of daily living), levels of risk, and responses to treatment. Nursing notes offer additional context, and they can be used to predict morbidity and mortality.

Here, we explore several exciting endeavors at several health systems to bring nursing documentation into the pipeline of clinical research informatics, and how it is being applied to healthcare problems. In this time of heavy investment into data research networks, this panel addresses the timely need to expand our view of what constitutes core clinical data.

Learning Objective 1: After participating in this activity, the learner will be better able to migrate his/her nursing data into meaningful study data that will allow inclusion of this rich data source into retrospective studies.

Learning Objective 2 (Optional): The learner will be able to select and target specific data elements in nursing flowsheet data to add richness to the medical record.

Learning Objective 3 (Optional): The learner will be better able to advocate for the importance of nursing data into clinical research data repositories.


Jeffrey Klann (Presenter)
Harvard University School of Medicine

Sarah Collins (Presenter)
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Kenrick Cato (Presenter)
Columbia University

Russ Waitman (Presenter)
University of Kansas Medical Center

Bonnie Westra (Presenter)
University of Minnesota

Presentation Materials: