The Impact of Data Integrity on Patient Care

  1. Data integrity

A recent study by the ECRI Institute found that the use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems by hospitals and physician practices has more than tripled since 2009. However, the institutes’ 2014 Top Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations highlights poor data integrity and gaps in the health IT infrastructure as serious risks to patient safety. As a result, healthcare organizations are questioning whether their workflows and EHR systems are delivering on the promise of protecting patient data. Read on to learn the factors behind the data risks and how implementing a compliant cloud solution can help maintain patient data integrity.

With the unprecedented influx of new people entering the U.S. healthcare system for the first time, many healthcare organizations are feeling the strain of on-boarding new patients and coordinating their care among several different departments. As a result, the integrity of data in health IT is being compromised in multiple ways:

  • Data entry errors
  • Missing data or delayed data delivery
  • Use of both paper and electronic systems for patient care
  • Patient/data association errors (i.e., patient data from a medical device is mistakenly associated with another patient’s record)

Additionally, the practice of cloning, or copying and pasting information within an EHR system, has emerged as a major factor leading to compromised patient data. While viewed as a timesaving practice, cloning can lead to unintended consequences including fraudulent documentation, inclusion of outdated patient information from previous notes, redundant information and confusion over who has authored the most current notes for patient care coordination. According to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the impact of cloning on patient safety and staff communication is significant and may even lead to improperly inflated Medicare claims that could result in CMS audits.

With their revenues and reputations on the line, healthcare organizations are turning to compliant cloud experts such as HOSTING to create, manage and maintain their cloud environments. Led by our dedicated, in-house Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), HOSTING cloud experts are fluent in the complexities of healthcare data and its associated HIPAA compliance requirements. They provide practical cloud solutions that address patient information integrity, data management and compliance challenges, including those associated with EHR functionalities such as copy/paste.

Contact us to learn how to safeguard your organization’s patient data. You can also view our on-demand webinar, HIPAA Compliance: Simple Steps to the Healthcare Cloud.

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