Clip this guide to service lines

Service lines are units of analysis that allow for comparisons based on the types of services patients receive, instead of their diagnoses.

The Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) tool is a logical progression to service lines, says Alexis Wilson, RN, MPH, PhD, founder and chief research officer of Outcome Concept Systems Inc. in Seattle. Wilson’s company created 14 service lines for which it is developing a benchmark database for home care agencies.

The service lines are described as follows:

1. Terminal care: life expectancy of less than six months.

2. Infusion care: intravenous, total peritoneal, or enteral nutrition.

3. AIDS care: HIV illness.

4. Wound/ostomy care: open wound, skin ulcer, or bowel ostomy.

5. Incontinence care: incontinent of urine or urinary catheter.

6. CVA care: physical or self-care deficits from stroke.

7. Diabetic care: care/teaching to control diabetes.

8. Cardiac care: care/teaching to control congestive heart failure, arteriosclerosis cardiovascular disease, or other cardiac conditions.

9. Psychiatric care: care/ongoing assessment for mental/emotional problems.

10. Rehabilitation care: care/therapy pertaining to musculoskeletal system.

11. Respiratory care: care/teaching to manage respiratory disease.

12. Oncology care: services for neoplasm.

13. Maternal/child health: children under 18 or care during pre/postpartum.

14. All other categories.


Pamela Ferrari, RN, Director of Quality Assurance, Visiting Nurse Association of Hudson Valley, 100 South Bedford Road, Mt. Kisko, NY 10459. Telephone: (914) 666-7616. Fax: (914) 666-0145.

Alexis Wilson, RN, MPH, PhD, Founder, Chief Research Officer, Outcome Concept Systems Inc., 2719 East Madison, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98112. Telephone: (253) 858-7492 or (206) 325-3396. Fax: (206) 720-6018.