According to CNN Money, medical errors are costing the industry $17 billion a year in wasted expenses, showing just how important it is to normalize data. Normalization is the process of organizing a relational database to reduce data and remove duplicated data. When proper patient matching isn’t done, patient’s information won’t follow them and the patient suffers. For hospitals, duplicate records aren’t just a minor record-keeping inconvenience. If a patient’s medical information is spread across separate records (or merged with another patient’s information), privacy rules could be broken and care could be negatively affected . Accurate patient data improves data sharing capabilities as hospitals and provider networks consolidate.
Communication among all parties is key when it comes to normalizing patient data. It starts with the registration staff at the hospital or when the patient walks into a provider office for an appointment; it’s vital that they are properly trained on how to capture all required information at check-in. To add to the complexity, application analysts within different departments (LAB, RAD, PATH, etc.) need to openly communicate with each other and the interface engineer to ensure data is being received in the required format. Although a hospital may require the data in one format, a vendor may require them to provide a different outbound format. Therefore, the person in charge of sending that data must understand the different needs of various vendors and confirm and document that they are able to send the data in the required format of their vendors. This goes for the vendor as well. All of this is critical for proper and accurate patient matching!
In our experience, we have dealt with a disconnect between departments and systems where they’re not using the same processes or standards for entering data. When you try to normalize that data, you’re unable to match the patient records. Bridging that gap is a complicated process and it varies based on hospitals and policies. It’s important to understand what tools are available within each hospital and then create a customized plan to move forward. At CoreTech, we believe that the EMPI (Enterprise Master Patient Index) is only as good as the data being fed into it. The hospital system needs to take responsibility to make sure they have good data which produces good results.
So how can CoreTech help? CoreTech can come in and evaluate the current processes, work with clinical staff and engineers and help come up with a solution to the problem. CoreTech is the best company for you because we truly have our customers best interest in mind and we’re vendor neutral. We’ll do the due diligence to ensure that you’re getting the best product to fulfill your specific needs. At CoreTech, our relationship with our customer is our number one priority. We’ll do what it takes to ensure that your organization is compliant and running smoothly by reducing medical errors. We will always keep you and your patients’ care as our top priority.