The gap in big data: Getting to wellbeing, strengths, and a whole-person perspective

Karen A. Monsen, Judith Peters, Sara Schlesner, Catherine E. Vanderboom, Diane E. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Electronic health records (EHRs) provide a clinical view of patient health. EHR data are becoming available in large data sets and enabling research that will transform the landscape of healthcare research. Methods are needed to incorporate wellbeing dimensions and strengths in large data sets. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential alignment of the Wellbeing Model with a clinical interface terminology standard, the Omaha System, for documenting wellbeing assessments. Objective: To map the Omaha System and Wellbeing Model for use in a clinical EHR wellbeing assessment and to evaluate the feasibility of describing strengths and needs of seniors generated through this assessment. Methods: The Wellbeing Model and Omaha System were mapped using concept mapping techniques. Based on this mapping, a wellbeing assessment was developed and implemented within a clinical EHR. Strengths indicators and signs/symptoms data for 5 seniors living in a residential community were abstracted from wellbeing assessments and analyzed using standard descriptive statistics and pattern visualization techniques. Results: Initial mapping agreement was 93.5%, with differences resolved by consensus. Wellbeing data analysis showed seniors had an average of 34.8 (range=22-49) strengths indicators for 22.8 concepts. They had an average of 6.4 (range=4-8) signs/symptoms for an average of 3.2 (range=2-5) concepts. The ratio of strengths indicators to signs/symptoms was 6:1 (range 2.8-9.6). Problem concepts with more signs/symptoms had fewer strengths. Conclusion: Together, the Wellbeing Model and the Omaha System have potential to enable a whole-person perspective and enhance the potential for a wellbeing perspective in big data research in healthcare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalGlobal Advances In Health and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015


  • Assessment
  • Electronic health records
  • Omaha system
  • Wellbeing model

Cite this