ONC boosts benchmarking to aid providers in patient matching

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has teamed with data benchmarking vendor CMMI Institute to offer a framework to help healthcare providers improve patient safety in their organizations and between other organizations.

The goal is to accurately and consistently match patient data to reduce duplicate testing as well as incorrect treatments or diagnoses, and reduce errors in insurance claims and billing.

CMMI enables organizations to evaluate themselves in such areas as data governance, data quality, data operations, platforms and standards, and supporting processes.

Also See: 10 top patient safety concerns

ONC analyzed several available frameworks for developing best practices before selecting CMMI, says Lee Stevens, director of state and interoperability policy at ONC.

“The fact-based approach and built-in path for capability growth is aligned with the healthcare industry’s need for a comprehensive standard,” he adds.

The Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework, or PDDQ, offers best practices in 19 data management process areas to evaluate an organization’s strengths and weaknesses and presents a plan for quality improvements.

“The PDDQ provides a comprehensive evaluation of data management practices for patient data through all health care process areas including registration, patient care, laboratory, pharmacy, claims and billing,” says Melanie Mecca, director of data management products and services at CMMI Institute.

The institute further offers workshops and interviews to gain insights on current patient data matching practices, existing gaps, discovering an organization’s strengths, and development of recommendations to measure future progress. Organizations joining the program also are taught to develop a cultural evolution toward shared responsibility within and across entities.

The framework for assessing an organization’s quality is available here.

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