Posts tagged ‘CDC’

The Whole World Is Watching: The Increasing Importance of Structured Data

One aspect of surgical reporting that is receiving increasing attention is the capturing of quality indicators.  Quality Indicators are usually defined as those elements of caring for patients that can be tracked and used to determine best practices in future patient care.  (A listing of some can be found at this site.)  Capturing how physicians approach each procedure – in terms of medication administered, instructions upon discharge, or methods adopted in treatment – creates a large pool of data for future students/physicians to examine in determining best practices for particular procedures and what effect each part of the patient’s care is having on his/her outcome.

But beyond the improvement of patient care – which is clearly the highest of importance – why else should physicians be aware of quality indicators?  Perhaps physicians should be interested in quality indicators because they are now being used to determine the effectiveness and reputation of the medical facilities where surgeons are working.

As referenced in this DOTmed article, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) – working in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control and Center for Medicare/Medicaid Servics – has created a new website that grades Illinois hospitals, clinics and ambulatory surgery centers.  These grades come from multiple sources of data and are weighed accordingly (for more on the IDPH’s methodology, please visit this page).  No, quality indicators alone aren’t determining the scores for these hospitals and surgicenters – but they are contributing to their reputations and standing within the community.

How are these points of data captured? And how important are they?


April 20, 2010 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

EHR – Part v. Whole

Piecemeal vs. Wholesale

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently released the results from the 2008 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), which is “an annual nationally representative survey of patient visits to office-based physicians that collects information on use of EMR/EHR.”  Approximately 5,200 physicians (3,200 surveys conducted in person; 2,000 over the phone) responded to this survey, which is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics since 2001.   The survey is designed to figure out how many physicians have purchased some product to serve as the Electronic Health Records (EHRs) – also referred to as Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) – and how many are utilizing those products.

There has been a big push for adoption of electronic health records, especially since the government set a goal of having most Americans have an EHR by 2014 (set in 2004 by then President George W. Bush, and has been re-affirmed by President Obama).  Increased funding from the Department of Health & Human Services for electronic medical records and products that electronically capture health information has also led to a boom in the Health IT industry and a diversity of options for health professionals from which they can choose.

But such an abundance of choices combined with the rush to adopt EHRs has left many people wondering – what’s the best product out there? Perhaps the better question is – what’s the best approach for implementing this new system?

Survey results, rising doubts and some ideas after the jump…


February 10, 2010 at 10:06 am 2 comments

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