The Nursing Services Reference Model (NSRM) is presented as a theoretical position and discussion paper. The aims are to describe the components of the NSRM concept, to explain why such a model needs to be developed and to explore methodological issues in the development of a NSRM. The concept is important to address as it may illuminate a most pressing problem faced by the Australian health care industry where the content and activity of nursing practice is not embedded as computer processable data in health information system structures. Digital documentation of nursing content and activity is urgently needed to enable reliable electronic processing of nursing services. However, it is necessary, prior to this, to develop a reference model that describes the range of nursing services in an unambiguous manner.
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