What is a Data Dictionary and What Role Does it Play in Semantic Interoperability?

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Semantic Interoperability - a key component of data sharing

Electronic health record (EHR) adoption, Meaningful Use, the universal adoption of the ICD-10 coding system, the Physician Quality Reporting System and other federal initiatives all have something in common. They all seek to increase the efficiency and reliability of data sharing across the healthcare industry.

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Topics: semantic interoperability

3 Things to Look for in a Data Normalization Solution for Healthcare

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The growth of electronically available data in healthcare presents a quandary. 

On the one hand, electronic health records and other health IT systems frees clinical information from paper charts and file rooms. On the other hand, that patient information is spread across multiple healthcare players and myriad IT systems across the healthcare community. Healthcare providers need to exchange data to collaborate on patient care in emerging delivery models such as accountable care organizations (ACOs). In addition, healthcare researchers need to extract and aggregate data from a variety of electronic sources for data warehousing and analysis.

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Topics: data normalization

How Terminology Mapping Drives Semantic Interoperability

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The increasing use of electronic health records (EHRs) opens opportunities for data sharing and collaborative care that simply didn’t exist when patient information was confined to paper charts.

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Topics: semantic interoperability

ICD-10: 5 Focus Areas That Should Not Be Delayed

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ICD-10 may be delayed, but that doesn't mean your preparation for the transition should also be postponed. Having trouble deciding where to focus your efforts in the interim? The infographic below can help guide you.

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Further Delay in ICD-10 Will Cost the Health Industry $1-6 Billion

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As some of you may have heard, the House approved on Thursday an 'SGR patch' bill, which would be yet another delay in implementing the SGR formula for Part B payments.

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Topics: ICD-10

Central Cancer Registries: Ensuring the EHR Meets MU2 Requirements

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The ability of public health organizations to efficiently track and monitor cancer cases via registries is critical to the national effort to reduce morbidity and mortality rates. That’s why, in 1992, Congress mandated that individual states establish central cancer registries (CCRs) to capture diagnostic, treatment and outcomes data for every cancer patient living in the U.S.

Hospitals have long submitted data to these registries, but today a growing number of cancer patients receive treatment outside of hospitals in ambulatory healthcare settings. As a result, Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2 includes an objective that requires providers in ambulatory settings to identify and report cancer cases to state registries. The MU Stage 2 measure requires healthcare providers to consistently and successfully submit cancer data through a certified EHR to their state’s cancer registries for the entire EHR reporting period.

To attest to MU Stage 2 criteria for cancer registry reporting, the CDC’s Implementation Guide for Healthcare Provider Reporting to Central Cancer Registries recommends that a provider’s EHR be capable of:

  • Identifying reportable cancer cases;
  • Identifying the specific data elements to be retrieved and included in the cancer event report;
  • Creating a valid HL7 CDA R2 cancer event report; and
  • Transmitting the cancer event report securely to a CCR electronically

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Topics: Meaningful use, Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2, MU Stage 2, EHR Technology, LOINC & SNOMED, Cancer Registries, EHR, MU2 requirements

Evolving Insights into The Value of Health Information Exchanges

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Evolving_Insights

Health information exchanges (HIEs) are an appealing way of harnessing technology to improve care. Too often, doctors must make medical decisions based on incomplete clinical information. Electronic health records are part of the solution, but their full value won’t be achieved until they’re connected to provide a cross-institutional, comprehensive, timely and accessible view of a patient’s medical history.

Public and private HIEs are creating the connections and clearinghouses to make this possible. However, while everyone recognizes that better information can lead to better care, financing HIEs has proved to be very challenging. One hope has been that HIEs could pay off quickly in early cost savings. It stands to reason that doctors wouldn’t need to order as many tests if they knew the results of previous ones, and early studies led to very promising projections of costly tests averted.

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Topics: HIE, Health Language, Dr. Steve Ross, Health Information Exchange, Radiology Testing, Health Information Technology, HIE Adoption

Health Language (June) “Did You Know?”

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Did_You_Know

We are excited to announce the launch of a new blog series called “Did You Know?” that will include one post each month on an interesting fact that you might not know about clinical terminology management, standardized vocabularies, industry regulations and more!

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Topics: ICD-10, Medical vocabulary, ICD-10 Transition, ICD-9 to ICD-10, clinical terminology management, ICD-10 implementation, Standardized vocabularies, Dr. Brian Levy

Little Savings on Tests Found Through HIE

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Little_Savings_on_Tests_Found_Through_HIE

Originally written by Susan D. Hall

A Colorado study of ambulatory practices found no significant reduction in the number of tests ordered or in the cost of tests among the participants of a Health Information Exchange (HIE). The Study analyzed claims data from Rocky Mountain Health Plans, a leading health plan in the market, for 306 providers in 69 practices in Mesa County, CO. The study compared the number of tests ordered and their costs before and after the providers joined the HIE, which was launched in 2005 by Quality Health Network (QHN). By 2010, 85 percent of the providers in the area were participating in the HIE. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

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Topics: HIE, Health Plans, Health Language, Dr. Steve Ross, Health Information Exchange, Wolters Kluwer Health, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, American Medical Informatics Association, Quality, Health Network, ambulatory

2013 Terminology Trend Watch: A Mid-Year Update

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At the beginning of the year, we presented three terminology management trends to watch for in 2013. You can read the full post here, but in summary, we predicted that the trends providers would be most focused on this year would involve: Meaningful Use; ICD-10; and a lesser discussed concept, Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCCs). 

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Topics: Meaningful use, ICD-10, HCCs, LOINC, Hierarchical Condition Categories, Trends, technology, RxNorm