Do Nursing Outcomes Databases Affect Organizational and Patient Outcomes?: Review and Synthesis of the NOD Literature

Start/End Dates: 2008 - 2009

Investigators: Anne Sales, Greta Cummings, Carole A. Estabrooks, Diane Doran, F-Y Li, D. White, J. Besner, K. Giblin 

Funder: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Grant Amount: $99,989

Background: Nursing Outcomes Databases (NODs) have been developed in the last two decades to fill gaps in information about the effect of nursing care on patient outcomes. The specifics of each database vary, as do the definitions of indicators, but generally they all include measures of nurse staffing, nursing skill mix, and patient outcomes, usually including patient falls, pressure ulcers, and satisfaction with care.  Hospital participation in the database varies widely also, with some  being proprietary with voluntary membership requiring payment of annual fees, and others being specific to the health care system that created them.  Despite the resources that have been used to create these databases, there are few published papers reporting on the relationship between nursing factors and patient outcomes using data from these sources.  As yet, no papers have described the effect of these databases on patient outcomes.

The objectives of this research program are to:

  1. To conduct a thorough and exhaustive review of the published and grey literature describing NODs, empirical research using NOD data, and information about the effect of the databases on patient care and outcomes;

  2. To synthesize the available evidence of the effect of NODs on patient outcomes;

  3. To make recommendations to decision makers about use of resources such as NODs in patient care delivery.