Health Information Management

News: AHIMA releases White Paper on data integrity

CDI Strategies, December 5, 2013

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As the old adage goes, “garbage in, garbage out.” Protection of healthcare data and the mapping and integrity of how that data gets used is one of the core tenets of AHIMA’s recently released White Paper “Data Mapping and Its Impact on Data Integrity.”

The paper “explores the relationship of data mapping and data integrity assurance by providing guidance to avoid adverse outcomes involving the use of maps.”

Healthcare data is being used for a number of projects, and while most require a “diverse team approach” the paper calls on HIM professionals to be closely involved to ensure the integrity of the process and the information obtained. Otherwise, the paper warns, that “undetected errors in data maps have the potential to introduce many problems, including the filing of false claims to insurers, delivering the wrong information for patient care and/or quality measures, or causing a breach in patient privacy.”

The paper further outlines a number of challenges related to the implementation of electronic health records and workflows including:

  • Drop-down pick lists for recording clinical facts generated from maps, which may result in inappropriate or less specific selections
  • Computer-assisted encoding software automation submitting codes that misrepresent the facts of the encounter
  • Use of templates developed from mapped data, which may exaggerate the clinical facts or omit important input
  • Workflows involving maps resulting in the submission of non-specific or inappropriate codes or data elements

Editor’s Note: The ACDIS EHR position paper was published in the October edition of CDI Journal and  is available to the public for a limited time.

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