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Healthcare systems in need of data quality measures, study finds

Rachel Wheeler Archive
The healthcare industry is on the verge of major changes regarding the way providers document, store and access patient data. If providers implement health information technology tools effectively, they are expected to be able to reduce errors, improve efficiency and lower the costs of quality care. However, the systems are new to many physicians, and some facilities don't allow enough time for proper training and readjustment.

The lack of data quality measures in the current system is contributing to errors highlighted by the recent NHS Information Center (NHSIC) study, which examined the quality of information stored in British healthcare facilities. Overall, the report found 20 percent of returned claims contained errors and 7 percent of all data included information that wasn't accurate.

The NHSIC reported that it found a lack of data quality control across the industry, which meant standards weren't being kept up.

"Poor data quality undermines confidence in the information used to plan and commission services, assess quality, facilitate patient choice and ensure effective use of resources," the report explained.

To address this problem, NHSIC urged local and national groups to take a more consistent and understandable approach to data quality.