Purpose: To compare the frequecy with which nursing activity terms could be be categorized using Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes.
Design: Descriptive. The sample was 201 patients with AIDS hospitalized 1989–1992 for pneumocystis carinii penumonia in three US medical centers.
Methods: Nursing activity terms (n = 21, 366) wer collected from patient records, then were categorized using NIC and CPT codes.
Results: Nursing activity terms were categorized into 80 NIC interventions across 22 classes and into 15 CPT codes. All terms in the data set were classifiable using the NIC system of the majority (60%) of the terms were classified by CPT codes. The most frequently used CPT code was “pulse oximetry.” Significantly (p >.0001) greater numbers of nursing activity terms could be categorized in the NIC system compared to the CPT system.
Conclusions: Findings provide evidence that NIC is superior to CPT for categorized nursing activities in this study's population. The findings support the importance of discipline-specific classifications for categorized of health care interventions. Nursing-specific intervention classification systems such as NIC, the Omaha System, and the Home Health Care Classification are essential to defining the contribution of nursing to both quality and cost outcomes.