Standardized Terminologies Conference

Second International Conference on Research Methods for Standardized Terminologies - April 15, 2015

This conference brought together experts in data mining, time motion studies, and program evaluation strategies for an intensive one-day event that included hands-on experiences and networking with international leaders in methods development for standardized terminology research. Researchers, faculty, students, and practitioners shared new strategies that are needed for big data analysis to impact health systems and quality of care.

Conference Agenda



American Nurses Credentialing Center

ANCC LogoThe University of Minnesota, School of Nursing is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

This activity is awarded up to 6.5 ANCC contact hours.

Other Health Professionals

It is the responsibility of each participant to determine if the program meets the criteria for re-licensure or re-certification for their discipline. Each participant will receive an Evidence of Participation upon completion of all accreditation requirements. Please check with your accrediting organization for complete requirements.

Conference Information

Educational Objectives

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this learning activity, learners should be able to:

  • Discuss patient-centered outcomes research and implications for standardized terminologies.
  • Describe use of data mining techniques for translational research.
  • Identify methods for capturing complexity using observational tools and standardized terminologies.
  • Explain quality and alignment of perspectives for methods used with standardized terminologies.



Chih-Lin Chi, PhD, MBA

Kristin Erickson, MS, RN, PHN

Ngozi Mbibi, DNP, RNC-OB

Robin Newhouse, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN (Keynote)

Daniel Pesut, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FANN

Elizabeth Schenk, PhD, MHI, BSN

Ruth Schleyer, MSN, RN-BC

Selda Secginli, PhD, RN



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Keynote - Advancing Patient Centered Outcomes Research: Implications for Research Methods and Standard Terminology
Robin Newhouse, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

Data Mining for Translation to Practice
Chih-Lin Chi, PhD, MBA

Capturing Complexity: Use of TimeCAT & the Omaha System to Study Multi-Tasking Activities of Acute Care Nurses
Elizabeth Schenk, PhD, MHI, BSN & Ruth Schleyer, MSN, RN-BC

Evaluating Quality of Research Methods for Standardized Terminologies
Selda Secginli, PhD, RN

Planning Your Evaluation Strategies for Projects in Research, Education, and Practice
Kristin Erickson, MS, APHN-BC, RN & Ngozi Mbibi, DNP, RNC-OB

Integral Informatics: Aligning Perspectives, Methods and Data
Daniel Pesut, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

2015 Methodologist Awards Recipients

Masters Student Methodologist

Masters Student Methodologist

Brady Alsaker, MN, RN

Brady Alsaker - Masters Student Methodologist AwardBrady Alsaker is a clinical data analyst and research assistant for the University of Minnesota and a business intelligence developer for HealthPartners and Park Nicollet in the Twin Cities. In December 2014, he was awarded the degree of Master of Nursing from the University of Minnesota. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Minnesota Morris.

Mr. Alsaker worked closely with Dr. Chih-Lin Chi in the School of Nursing in research on predicting outcomes and creating personalized health treatments using Omaha System data. During his tenure at HealthPartners and Park Nicollet, he has partnered with clinical and business leaders within the merging health systems to develop reporting solutions that help improve quality of care, reduce costs, and improve patient satisfaction. At the University of Minnesota, he has assisted cardiologists and researchers within the Cardiovascular Department in evaluating health outcomes and creating code to find patients for pharmaceutical and medical device clinical trials using a SQL-powered database.

In his work with Dr. Chi, he encountered several issues in dealing with a public health nursing dataset too large for standard office software solutions. To overcome these challenges, he designed and created a relational database using Microsoft SQL Server Manager. He extracted, transformed, and loaded 42 distinct text files of data into four primary tables containing data on demographics, signs and symptoms, interventions, and outcomes for over 11,000 public health nursing clients. He also created a table containing over 800 variables per patient admission to use in statistical research. His database has the ability to grow in time and incorporate similarly large Omaha System datasets from other agencies to compare problems, interventions, and outcomes among multiple public health nursing programs.

He has also begun analyzing family outcomes using the same Omaha System database. He completed descriptive statistics and effective sizes on the demographics, problems, interventions, and outcomes data from thousands of families who were part of a local public health agency's nursing program. He presented initial findings to the director of the local public health agency, and plans to analyze the data further to help develop methods for the Omaha System community to analyze family-level outcomes. Congratulations, Brady.

Doctoral Student Methodologist

Doctoral Student Methodologist

Jeanette M. Olsen, PhD, RN

Jeanette OlsenDr. Olsen under the mentorship of Dr. Mary Jo Baisch, successfully defended her dissertation research in March 2015. She created a novel method for conceptually mapping the Omaha System to the McLeroy's ecological theory of health promotion in her study of physical activity among rural women. This approach, which could be replicated with other health-related behavior problems, provides a means operationalizing ecological theory with the Omaha System fro use in research and practice. The results of the mapping process revealed the ecological nature of the Omaha System and provided support for measuring and analyzing health-related behavior problems from an ecological perspective with Omaha System data.

She applied this theoretical framework in a quantitative analysis of clinical data documented by local public health department nurses using the Omaha System. Her findings indicated that rurual, Midwestern women receiving public health nurse visits had more than adequate Knowledge, inconsistent Behavior, and minimal to moderate signs/symptoms for physical activity. In addition, hierarchical regressions indicated that ecological factors explain some of the variance in physical activity.

The results of this study expanded what is known about physical activity in a previously unstudied population. In addition, the findings indicated that ecological factors influence Physical Activity Behavior; however, age, BMI, and Physical Activity Knowledge have a larger impact. Finally, the results demonstrate that clinical information documented with the Omaha System can provide a means of measuring health-related behavior problems and analyzing them from an ecological perspective. Dr. Olsen is a student member of the Omaha System Partnership and her large dataset of rural women and physical activity was contributed by Omaha System community partners. Congratulations, Dr. Olsen

Early Career Methodologist

Early Career Methodologist

Chih-Lin Chi, PhD, MBA

Dr. Chih-Lin ChiChih-Lin Chi received his BS and MBA in Taiwan, and PhD in Health Informatics from the University of Iowa. He completed his postdoctoral training at the Center for Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School in 2013. In 2013, Dr. Chi joined the University of Minnesota as core faculty in the Institute for Health Informatics and Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing.

Dr. Chi's research focuses on translational research and personalized health management through knowledge discovery and data mining from diverse type of data, e.g., Omaha System data, electronic medical records, claims data, clinical trial data, long-term patient cohort, omics data, virtual patient data, and other type of data that best fit the research purpose. He developed several integrative approaches (including clinical trial simulation, machine learning, optimization, artificial intelligence, and clustering analysis) to extract knowledge to support diverse healthcare decisions. His current research studies include nursing care quality and resource efficiency, prevention of statin intolerance and adverse-event, dementia progression prediction, anticlotting treatment-protocol optimization, and metabolomics biomarker detection.

Using standardized terminology data, Dr. Chi focuses on discovering how to efficiently and effectively use nursing intervention to improve outcomes. He developed a group of methods for this research direction, including intervention usage prediction, intervention responsiveness prediction, clustering of commonly used interventions, personalized intervention prediction, identification of interventions that maximize outcome improvement, and an evidence matrix for translating data-science findings to practice. Together these steps have potential to automate personalized intervention planning and optimize outcomes, improving population health. Congratulations Dr. Chi.

Senior Methodologist

Senior Methodologist

Bonnie Westra, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI

Dr. Bonnie WestraDr. Westra received her MS in Nursing with a focus on Community Health from the University of Colorado and her PhD in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. An emphasis in her PhD program was geriatrics and she was introduced to standardized nursing data through her mentorship by Drs. Harriet Werley and Norma Lang. As an owner in CareFacts, she spent 12 years designing, implementing, and supporting an electronic health record that integrated the Omaha System. Subsequently, she lead the development of the Nursing Informatics specialty in the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota, conducted informatics research, and is the Director for the Center for Nursing Informatics.

Dr. Westra is an expert in multiple methods for creating, updating, and using standardized nursing terminology in practice, education, and research. She has been conducting research with standardized terminologies for more than 20 years. Dr. Westra leads and collaborates with teams of researchers in mapping clinical data to standardized terminologies and use cutting edge data mining methods to predict and improve outcomes. She is one of a limited number of nurse researchers to consistently use traditional and data mining techniques with large data sets from electronic health records.

Her expertise in research methods related to standardized terminology include terminology development, updates and validation; descriptive studies on effective use of terminologies in practice; descriptive studies using data from electronic health records; predictive modeling using either traditional statistical analysis and/or data mining; data mining methodologies or predictive models only using data mining methods. She has numerous seminal publications that provide a platform for further development of methods in standardized terminology research, and is a renowned expert in the field. Congratulations, Dr. Westra.

Studies and Publications

Terminology Development, Updates, and Validation Methods

Descriptive Studies on Effective Use of Terminologies in Practice

Descriptive Studies

Prediction of Outcomes - Traditional and/or Data Mining Methods

Data Mining Methods