Minnesota Nursing magazine

Big data advances public health nursing

The Center for Nursing Informatics has advanced the national road map for comparable and sharable data to build big data resources. Center Director Bonnie Westra’s work with national partners in electronic health record development as well as home health data are potent examples. Additionally, the center is home to the international practice-based research network, The Omaha System Partnership for Knowledge Discovery and Health Care Quality. Researchers and community partners from more than 15 countries leverage the power of nursing’s data to generate new knowledge in support of practice and to improve population health. This year at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting the Omaha System Partnership showcased five public health nursing and big data presentations, many of which were authored by center faculty and students, whose names are identified in bold.

  • Leaders in Big Data Research (Monsen & Martin) provided an exemplar using large datasets to examine social and behavioral determinants of health associated with public health nursing outcomes.
  • Visualizing Population Patterns in Older Adults (Radhakrishnan, Monsen & Garcia) visually analyzed associations between patient characteristics of age, gender, co-morbidity burden and home health length of stay with health-related outcomes of older adult home health population. 
  • Data Mining for Translation to Practice (McNaughton, Moon, Park, Mathiason, Chi, Brandt & Porta) identified patterns of public health nursing home visiting interventions associated with improved mental health for Latina mothers receiving family home visiting services.
  • Evaluating Public Health Nurses Impact on Nutrition Outcomes (Horning, Lell, Thorson & Monsen) demonstrated public health nursings 
  • role in promoting healthful nutrition and related client improvement.
  • Emerging Geospatial Methods (Kerr, Hong, Gao & Krzyzanowski) described using big data with emerging geospatial and computational models within geographic information science for population health assessments.

Associate Professor Karen Monsen, who directs the partnership, received the 2016 Lillian Wald Service Award from the Public Health Nursing Section of American Public Health Association in recognition
of her work advancing public health nursing big data research.

The Omaha System International Conference will be held April 20–22, in Eagan, Minnesota. Find more information at www.omahasystem.org. The Nursing Knowledge: Big Data Science Conference will be held June 7-9 in Minneapolis. Visit http://z.umn.edu/bigdata for more information.