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Nursing Informatics

This infographic, Advancing an Essential Clinical Data Set in Canada, shows how standardized data provides value to patients, clinicians and administrators.

Nursing informatics refers to the practice and science of integrating nursing information and knowledge with technology to manage and integrate health information. The goal of nursing informatics is to improve the health of people and communities while reducing costs. Learn more:

Collection and use of national nursing data standards (NNDS)

Since April 2016, nursing leaders from across Canada have gathered annually in Toronto to discuss the collection and use of nursing data standards in Canada. The NNDS symposiums have been sponsored by CNA, the Canadian Institute for Health Information and Canada Health Infoway and held with the support of the Canadian Nursing Informatics Association and the University of Toronto’s Lawrence S. Bloomberg faculty of nursing. The symposiums focus on the area of nursing/clinical data standards in clinical practice, administration, nursing education, research and policy.

  • Read the proceedings from the NNDS symposiums:
    • 2018 [PDF, 1.4 MB]
    • 2017 [PDF, 925.8 KB]
    • 2016 [PDF, 1.1 MB]
  • Read this summary [PDF, 159.9 KB] of the NNDS action plan.

The overall goal of this work is to realize the collection of standardized data that is captured once and used for multiple purposes.


The NNDS action plan aims to ramp up the implementation of C-HOBIC, which stands for Canadian Health Outcomes for Better Information and Care. C-HOBIC introduces a systematic, structured, standardized language to admission and discharge assessments of patients receiving acute care, complex continuing care, long-term care or home care. This language can be abstracted into provincial databases or electronic health records. C-HOBIC builds on the Ontario HOBIC program (Health Outcomes for Better Information and Care). Visit the C-HOBIC website to learn more.

Phase I (2007 to 2010) of the C-HOBIC project initiated the collection of standardized patient outcome data related to nursing for use in electronic health records in parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, building on the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care HOBIC program. Phase II introduced the development and implementation of a synoptic report to support patient care transitions. In Manitoba, this work is part of the rollout of Allscripts at St. Boniface Hospital. In Ontario, a synoptic report is available on the ClinicalConnect portal in the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant and the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Networks. The synoptic reports display normalized admission and discharge scores from the C-HOBIC data set. By comparing these clinical outcomes between admission and discharge, health-care providers can plan the appropriate care and resources to manage ongoing care to optimize health care. Phase III of C-HOBIC demonstrated the feasibility of sending C-HOBIC data from the information systems (electronic health records) in acute care facilities to the Discharge Abstract Database (DAD) at the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

The C-HOBIC Toolkit provides a variety of information and resources from the C-HOBIC project, including final reports for Phase I, II and III, and an evaluation report.

Integrating C-HOBIC data with international terms

CNA and the International Council of Nurses (ICN) jointly developed the International Classification for Nursing Practice: Nursing Outcome Indicators Catalogue to provide a cross-reference between Canadian and international nursing data. This milestone publication links the standardized terms used in the C-HOBIC initiative with those in the International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP). To obtain a copy of the catalogue, purchase it directly from ICN.

National nursing quality report for Canada

CNA participated in the creation of a national nursing “report card” that would gather standardized nursing data and provide periodic reports. This information would be used to influence policy directions for nursing. Learn more.