The now ubiquitous Electronic Medical Record (EMR) has certainly enabled healthcare systems to centralize access to their patients’ clinical information, to the benefit of data sharing and analysis. This patient centric design philosophy of the EMR ensures the clinical patient data entered into it by caregivers, as well as payor and provider data for that matter, is safeguarded and centrally stored. Inherent in this approach are assurances that information cannot be randomly changed, updated or corrected, except by select individuals.
While typically taking a backseat to the focus on patient and payor data, provider data is equally critical for running an efficient, competitive and profitable healthcare system. Only by operating with accurate healthcare provider data, in addition to accurate patient and payor information, can healthcare organizations maximize their opportunities to improve clinical quality, organizational productivity and marketing outreach, while flushing out costs from wasted activities. All of which are required for success in a value-based reimbursement environment.
However, the healthcare provider data used by the EMR to track patient care history and care transitions, or for billing purposes, is typically sourced from credentialing and other system that are not designed to ensure the continuous availability of accurate provider data. Thus, inaccurate provider data in the EMR can unknowingly impact others who may rely upon it. In addition, if this information is shared across healthcare systems through third party EMR integrations or clinical data sharing solutions, problems that stem from inaccurate healthcare provider data can be inadvertently worsened.
In this post-EMR era, solving the problems that arise from inaccurate healthcare provider data requires an understanding of it’s scope, sources and organizational impact, as well as what is required in an appropriate solution. Armed with these insights, healthcare leaders can fully appreciate how to improve the accuracy of the healthcare provider data that flows through their enterprise IT systems and affects organizational productivity, clinical quality, compliance, marketing and revenue.