Historically physician and nursing systems and workflow have often been parallel, but independent of each other. Physicians and nurses must be able to share information to provide coordination of care.

For example, physicians must comply with standards such as ICD-10, ICD-9, Snomed CT, RxNorm, LOINC, DSM-IV, and CPT, while nurses employ terminology like NANDA, NIC, NOC, ICNP, PNDS, and CCC. With so many different standards in place, creating an integrated picture of patient care can be difficult at best.

Fortunately, all of these standards have already been mapped to link physician and nursing information. The capability now exists to integrate physician and nursing documentation and care capabilities as well as provide links between a patient’s clinical diagnoses and nursing care.

To create this functionality, all existing nursing standards were evaluated to identify the best candidate for use at the point of care in computerized systems. The Clinical Care Classification (CCC) system was selected and 182 CCC Nursing Diagnoses were linked to the more than 55,000 clinical diagnoses. Linking the CCC and clinical diagnoses makes it possible for all members of the care team to generate a list of nursing diagnoses based on the physician’s clinical diagnoses for that patient.

In addition, CCC Nursing Diagnoses are linked to CCC Nursing Interventions and to more than 1,760 specific nursing actions. Also, a starter set of customizable documentation protocols has been developed for each of the nursing actions.

One of the most significant aspects of this work is that the same concepts in the nursing protocols are linked to the physician content where appropriate. Coordination of care has arrived.

David Lareau is Chief Executive Officer of Medicomp Systems, inventor of the MEDCIN Engine, a robust clinical data engine embedded in leading EHRs throughout the world.