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Best Practices for Improved Patient Data Collection
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NAHAM is proud to announce that we have completed and released the National Association of Healthcare Access Management Best Practice Recommendations for the Collection of Key Data Attributes.

 

   

About the Report

The intent of these recommendations is to stimulate recognition and uptake of a standardized methodology for the collection of patient attributes considered essential for improved patient matching within and across provider systems.

NAHAM’s Best Practice Recommendations offer guidance on data collection and usage, sources of information for validating data, as well as scripts and other training elements for patient access and registration personnel.

The five patient attributes initially addressed in our recommendations are the collection of patient name, data of birth, gender, address, and phone number. These attributes mirror the new certification requirements for electronic health records technology that are part of the national effort driven by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).

Where the ONC has established national standards for the appropriate health IT fields to promote data sharing across hospital systems, our Best Practice Recommendations address the “how to” in the collection of these attributes and the population of this data in standard health IT systems.

How to Use the Recommendations

These NAHAM recommendations are intended to increase your hospital’s patient identity integrity efforts and represent “trainable” best practices for your front line staff. We recommend you:

  1. Read the full report of recommendations
  2. Then use the “Essentials” version as your convenient, day-to-day reference. 

As you explore each of the five recommendations, you will find ideas that will enhance your own protocols and procedures for front line staff. For example:

  • What do you do when the patient presents with a new address or new phone number?
  • What if the patient’s date of birth on record differs from what the patient reports at the time of registration?
  • What do you do when the patient presents with a gender that is not indicated on his or her government-issued photo ID?

The Best Practice Recommendations provide guidance intended to eliminate errors at registration, such as having the patient spell his or her name and address, recommending how to record name suffixes and prefixes, and anticipating protocols for recording gender identity that differs from birth sex.

Thanks to our members and volunteers like you!

Our Best Practice Recommendations were developed by NAHAM members – patient access professionals like you – and made available for comments from the entire NAHAM membership. Our members shared feedback based on what works for them and what they plan to implement as patient identity integrity gets more and more attention.

NAHAM will make these available to the entire field of Patient Access and hopes to see these become nationally-adopted best practices. Our recommendations are expected to be recognized by the ONC and made a part of its Health IT Playbook, which will offer a suite of Do’s and Don'ts based on our best practice recommendations for patient matching.

In the future, NAHAM will build out additional trainable recommendations for these first five and additional patient attributes.

Questions or Feedback?
Contact NAHAM at info@NAHAM.org or (202) 367-1125.


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