Health information management professionals should get involved with their local health information exchange because they have expertise to guide data integrity issues, the American Health Information Management Association advises in a new white paper.

The involvement should be at a leadership level, such as on the board or executive committee, or on a specialty committee, such as HIM, finance or audit/compliance, among others, “that develop policy and procedures that ensure health data are accurate, complete, relevant and up to date.”

The paper details such factors as patient identification, data elements used in patient selection, secure data transfer and data stewardship. Recommendations include:

* Individual organizational establishment of acceptance criteria, performance metrics and a baseline of patient identification practices as part of the internal review process;

* Clearly established mechanisms to provide oversight and accountability of the HIE to protect the public interest; and

* Understanding by all HIE participants of how and when corrections will be made to the HIE and the affect the corrections may have on patients’ records.

The white paper, “Ensuring Data Integrity in Health Information Exchange,” is available here.

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