New White Paper Delves into Data Integrity in HIE
As organizational exchange of health information widens into health information exchange (HIE), maintaining the integrity and completeness of health data is paramount. That’s the message of a new AHIMA white paper, “Ensuring Data Integrity in Health Information Exchange.” The white paper, written by AHIMA’s HIE Practice Council, reports on general concepts and examples of methodologies for the development of data integrity and quality standards in HIE.
Accurate patient information is critical to a healthcare organization, and participating in an HIE can also provide increased efficiency in the form of more complete and timely patient information, the report says. The authors state that “the overarching goal of HIEs is to allow authorized users to quickly and accurately exchange health information to enhance patient safety and improve efficiency. Achieving this goal is dependent on the ability to link (match) multiple, disparate records relating to a single individual.”
In a roundup of the latest thinking on the issue, the report summarizes the typical forms of HIE models and the types of patient information exchanged in an HIE. It details how a patient’s information is maintained, corrected, and updated when new information is sent to an HIE, as well as the process for ensuring all of the information in a record actually belongs to the correct patient. It also offers specifics on how various data elements are used to ensure the accurate exchange of information belonging to the correct patient.
Health data stewardship (“the responsibilities and accountabilities associated with managing, collecting, viewing, storing, sharing, disclosing, or otherwise making use of personal health information“) is becoming an increasingly critical issue. While there is no federal law establishing precise ownership rights or responsibilities, the report notes, stewardship has come to the fore “not only in terms of privacy protections, which are of utmost importance, but also in the quality of data with which health-related business and clinical decisions are made,” the authors state.
The report notes that “HIM professionals play a critical role by leading initiatives related to standards, technologies, education, and research that are vital for capture, use, and maintenance of accurate healthcare data and facilitating healthcare’s electronic evolution.”