Ontario's Health Outcomes for Better Information and Care (HOBIC) is designed to help organizations and nurses plan and evaluate care by comparing patient outcomes with historical data on similar cases. Yet, fewer than 15% of patients in a 2010 study were found to have complete admission and discharge data sets. This low utilization rate of HOBIC measures prompted the current qualitative study, in which nurses from three clinical settings in an academic teaching hospital were interviewed to gain their perceptions related to collecting and using HOBIC measures in practice. The objective was to identify factors that promote or impede the collection and use of HOBIC data in clinical practice to improve patient care and outcomes. Analysis of interview results produced four key themes related to (a) use of HOBIC measures to inform patient care, (b) collecting and documenting HOBIC measures, (c) HOBIC as an afterthought and "black hole" and (d) impediments to assessing and documenting HOBIC measures because of language barriers, patients' cognitive status and lack of time. Recommendations to improve uptake include developing, implementing and evaluating a communication and learning plan that promotes HOBIC's values and benefits, and determining how managers and administrators perceive utilization of HOBIC at the clinical unit and organizational levels.
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