Standardized Nursing Terminology and Classification Systems in Published Research #ICNP

Gillian Strudwick & Nicholas R. Hardiker. (2016). Understanding the use of standardized nursing terminology and classification systems in published research: A case study using the International Classification for Nursing Practice® (Review article). International Journal of Medical Informatics, 94 (October), 215-221.

Background: In the era of evidenced based healthcare, nursing is required to demonstrate that care provided by nurses is associated with optimal patient outcomes, and a high degree of quality and safety. The use of standardized nursing terminologies and classification systems are a way that nursing documentation can be leveraged to generate evidence related to nursing practice. Several widely-reported nursing specific terminologies and classifications systems currently exist including the Clinical Care Classification System, International Classification for Nursing Practice®, Nursing Intervention Classification, Nursing Outcome Classification, Omaha System, Perioperative Nursing Data Set and NANDA International. However, the influence of these systems on demonstrating the value of nursing and the professions’ impact on quality, safety and patient outcomes in published research is relatively unknown.

Purpose: This paper seeks to understand the use of standardized nursing terminology and classification systems in published research, using the International Classification for Nursing Practice® as a case study.

Methods: A systematic review of international published empirical studies on, or using, the International Classification for Nursing Practice® were completed using Medline and the Cumulative Index for Nursing and Allied Health Literature.

Results: Since 2006, 38 studies have been published on the International Classification for Nursing Practice®. The main objectives of the published studies have been to validate the appropriateness of the classification system for particular care areas or populations, further develop the classification system, or utilize it to support the generation of new nursing knowledge. To date, most studies have focused on the classification system itself, and a lesser number of studies have used the system to generate information about the outcomes of nursing practice.

Conclusions: Based on the published literature that features the International Classification for Nursing Practice, standardized nursing terminology and classification systems appear to be well developed for various populations, settings and to harmonize with other health-related terminology systems. However, the use of the systems to generate new nursing knowledge, and to validate nursing practice is still in its infancy. There is an opportunity now to utilize the well-developed systems in their current state to further what is know about nursing practice, and how best to demonstrate improvements in patient outcomes through nursing care.

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