Case Studies Introduction
Case studies are a very effective Omaha System teaching/learning strategy. They are one of the best ways to (1) introduce novices to the Omaha System, and (2) allow experienced users to increase their accuracy and consistency (to ensure interrater reliability) during refresher sessions.
This Web site includes 9 case studies developed by expert users who represent a range of practice, education, and research settings. Each case study consists of a story and answers about a realistic but fictitious client (an individual, family, or community). The case studies represent diverse types of clients/patients, practitioners, practice, and practice sites.
More case studies are available. The 2005 Omaha System book includes 18 additional case studies, as well as more details and advice about how to use case studies with your practitioners, managers, educators, and students. Other publications listed on the References section include case studies. Champ Software, Inc. produced two videotapes or DVDs that depict case studies for practice purposes.
Although many case studies are available, you may not find one that exactly duplicates your clients/patients, practice, and programs. As you become more familiar with the Omaha System, you may want to develop new case studies. Consider replicating or customizing the features of the case studies in this Web site such as care focus and degree of difficulty that reflect your practice, education, or research characteristics and challenges. In addition, it can be valuable for your group to develop a less-than-familiar story in order to gain practice in using the Omaha System in more difficult or unusual situations that your practitioners may encounter. Individuals who develop Omaha System critical thinking skills should be able to apply those skills to a wide range of case studies, select similar answers, and benefit from listening to their colleagues’ opinions.
Use the following guidelines:
The case studies in this Web site have two sections:
When reading the answers, remember some basic assumptions. Because "more is not necessarily better", the goal is to list pertinent answers one time, and not duplicate answers unnecessarily. Although there should be a high level of agreement among those who complete case study exercises, it will not reach 100%. The answers are NOT intended to replicate the complete or exact text practitioners or students would document following a visit or encounter. Therefore, the answers are NOT an example of a legal record. Depending on the practice site, legal records contain diverse combinations of referral and demographic data, medical orders and ICD diagnoses, medication lists, laboratory results, forms such as those required by Medicare, and other materials.
You will need additional preparation if your goal is to teach others about the Omaha System and your initial exposure is occurring as you read this Web site and the case studies. Read other Omaha System publications, view videotapes, practice your decision-making with case studies, discuss your conclusions with colleagues, and attend workshops.
If you are interested in developing a case study for inclusion on the Web site, please contact Karen Martin.
The 9 case studies presented represent the following client scenarios: