Information Gems Hidden in the Data Integrity Summary Report
It’s one of the most underutilized tools HIM Managers have at their fingertips—and one of the most powerful when it comes to data integrity. Hidden within the statistics of the data integrity summary report are the informational keys to maintaining the integrity of the data within the master patient index (MPI). Digging deeper into the data reveals not only the volume of overlaid or duplicate records within the system, but also areas of weaknesses that could potentially:
- Threaten the long-term integrity of the MPI
- Limit its usefulness in achieving quality and safety goals and meaningful use
- Hamper participation in health information organizations (HIOs)
Summary reports can pinpoint the root cause of data integrity issues and identify specific areas upon which hospitals should focus corrective efforts including:
- Improved education and training
- Policy clarification
- Enhanced communication
They can also reveal patterns of errors. For example too many null or empty fields in certain records can signal problems with registration processes. Drilling deeper, data integrity statistics can be used to track errors with greater specificity, and can even provide detailed insight into the specific types of errors that are happening most frequently within individual departments or facilities—even enterprise-wide.
Once patterns are identified, individual cases can be closely examined to pinpoint specific departments or individual registrars. This is how one Pennsylvania health system, which outsourced its MPI management to Just Associates, utilized its summary reports to maintain the long-term integrity of MPI data.
Included as part of our offerings is easy access to an array of analytics and reporting tools that the health system used to pinpoint where errors were entering the system and the specific types of mistakes being made. This enabled the HIM director to customize training programs to strengthen specific areas of weakness in individual departments and focus on improving the skills of individual registrars. As a result, registration errors at the health system are now in the single digits.
The integrity of patient identity data plays a significant role in the success of HIOs, and is critical to achieving care quality and safety goals. Leveraging the full power of summary reports helps hospitals and health systems ensure the long-term integrity of their data.