Feasibility of Using the Omaha System for Community-level Observations

Madeleine J. Kerr, Carol Flaten, Michelle L.L. Honey, Sebastiana del Rosario Gargantua-Aguila, Nursen O. Nahcivan, Karen S. Martin, Karen A. Monsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of using a standardized language, the Omaha System, to capture community-level observations to facilitate population assessment and electronic information exchange. The objectives were: (1) to evaluate the feasibility of using the Omaha System at the community level to reflect community observations and (2) to describe preliminary results of community observations across international settings. Design and Sample: Descriptive. A dataset of 284 windshield surveys (community observations) completed by nursing students in five countries: Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Turkey, and the United States. Measures: The Omaha System Problem Classification Scheme provided standardized terms for assessment of communities in an online checklist of 11 problems and their respective signs/symptoms. Results: Feasibility was demonstrated: students were able to describe community observations using standardized terminology from the Omaha System. Preliminary results describe variations in community signs and symptoms by location. Conclusions: The Omaha System appears to be a useful tool for community-level observations and a promising strategy for electronic exchange of population health assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-263
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • Community assessment
  • International
  • Omaha system
  • Standardized terminology


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