Health information exchanges prompt data quality efforts

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that President Barack Obama signed into law in early 2010, healthcare providers are expanding their outreach to as many Americans as possible.

In an effort to improve overall care, state and local healthcare agencies are performing health information exchanges (HIEs), electronically exchanging patient data. HIEs provide a new level of access to health information, but data quality needs to be of paramount importance.

Patients’ medical records include contact information, such as mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. Entering this data into forms is a process rife with opportunities for human error. Data fields are often riddled with incorrect formatting, typographical errors and contacts that are correct but outdated. Patients’ medical records must be corrected in order to ensure quality care.
Several precautions must be taken before an HIE migration. Before outstanding paper records are digitally imported, records should be wiped clean of any mistakes and software tools should be used to verify addresses and eliminate duplicate records.

Review this new HIE infographic to better understand the role data quality plays in HIE migrations.


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