Nursing-sensitive outcomes provide common information across sectors, thus eliminating duplication that frequently occurs as individuals move across settings. These outcomes also facilitate increased trust among colleagues and support common understandings of patient care needs, thus enhancing continuity of care. Outcomes-oriented information is also likely to increase patient safety and improve overall quality of care. Shared standards and data support consistent decision-making, as nursing decisions can be tracked back over time to assess patient care outcomes. Consequently, nurses will have the means to determine the impact of their interventions on patient outcomes. At the same time, adoption of common approaches to patient assessment leads to greater professional accountability and moves nursing care from a task orientation to an outcomes focus. For administrators, such improvements in monitoring and evaluating patient outcomes translate into improvements in efficiencies and effectiveness, thus providing a return on investment in implementing these outcomes within their agency. For nurses, integration and utilization of outcomes information increases the visibility and significance of their decision-making and patient care. Together with patients, nurses can utilize the outcomes information to make evidence-based decisions and advocate for appropriate care. At an aggregate level, the use of outcomes information creates a continuous feedback loop that is essential to ensuring evidence-based care and the best possible patient outcomes, not only for individuals, but also for families, communities and populations. Outcomes-oriented care provides a gateway for transforming the way we care for patients; puts safe, ethical, high-quality care for patients first; embodies the principles of evidence-based practice; ensures that the value of nursing is clearly understood within the larger system; and ensures that the requirements for measurability and accountability can be achieved. This journey is continuous and is being expanded to engage all other health disciplines in understanding and documenting their contributions to patient care, both as individual practitioners and as members of a healthcare team. Preparing nursing students in an outcomes approach will facilitate systemwide adoption of HOBIC patient outcomes over time and provide a means to determine the impact of nursing care on our patients.
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