The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) of North Texas will host Susan Dentzer during its membership meeting tomorrow evening at the Joule Hotel in Dallas. Registration and reception begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by the dinner and presentations from 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
One of the nation’s most respected healthcare journalists, Dentzer is an on-air analyst for PBS NewsHour. She is also the senior policy adviser for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the editor-in-chief of the journal Health Affairs.
The North Texas chapter of ACHE serves the professional development needs of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and 19 surrounding counties. Membership offers you the opportunity to network with leaders in healthcare management and grow professionally. For more information, click here. To register for tomorrow’s dinner, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DFW Hospital Council would like to thank all sponsors and attendees who participated in yesterday’s 67th Annual Awards Luncheon at the Arlington Convention Center. More than 50 chairs of member hospital boards were honored on stage. Dr. Merlyn Sayers was presented the Distinguished Health Service Award. James Mendez of Kindred Hospital Dallas was the recipient of the Young Healthcare Executive of the Year Award. David Biegler of Children’s Health System received the Kerney Laday, Sr. Trustee of the Year Award. Additional highlights included Keynote Speaker Jon Meacham, Jason Castro singing the National Anthem and a surprise appearance by the S.B. & C. dancers performing in honor of the luncheon’s theme, “Fall Fandango.” (photos by Jerry McClure)
By Richard Howe, PhD, Executive Director, North Texas Regional Extension Center
Last month, I briefly touched on some quality issues related to use of an electronic health record (EHR). Over the past year, I have participated in a work group, called the ONC-HIMSS Patient Matching Community of Practice, co-led by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and HIMSS, that focused on various patient identification and matching issues.
Some of these patient matching issues include:
• Multiplicity of different patient matching approaches/algorithms used by different vendors and Health Information Exchanges (HIEs). This creates a lack of uniformity in patient matching methods across the industry.
• Insufficient evaluation of the accuracy of these diverse methods, especially in real-world use. Hence, there is no gold standard for patient matching.
• High rates of unmatched and mismatched records exist, due in part to inadequate data quality at the source. This results in duplicate records within a system.
• Lack of national data standards for validation of data quality for patient matching.
The patient matching work group also noted that major improvements in patient matching rates have been achieved through the introduction of the following:
• Increase number of data attributes used in linking
• Use of nationally recognized data standards
• Decrease free text data entry
• Standardize naming conventions, such as use of legal name only
• Use of secondary data, such as use of the US Postal Service street names and addresses as a potential national standard. GPS systems in cars use the US Postal Service street names in their database.
• Analysis of the impact of the addition of specific data elements on the improvement of matching rates (for example, the addition of “mother’s maiden name” was found to dramatically reduce duplication rates)
• Use of auto-linking algorithms to improve match rates in very large retrospective data bases in which extensive manual correction is not feasible
HIMSS has recently developed three requests of Congress for the coming year. One of these requests is to remove the restriction on use of Federal Funds to develop a national patient identifier. Specifically, HIMSS asks the following:
• Support robust interoperability and health information exchange.
o One sub-theme is removing the “Congressional prohibition” on the use of government money to create a national patient identifier. In reality, if a national patient identifier had been developed years ago, many of the patient matching issues that exist today would have been significantly reduced.
o The second directs ONC to review and amend its EHR certification program to include “rigorous interoperability testing” of HIE standards and specifications.
In summary, data quality issues that impact either duplication of medical records or incorrect clinical data must be addressed to improve overall use of an EHR in a physician practice. Improving data quality will more effectively support daily practice operations and long-term data analytics.
In an attempt to reduce waste, the city of Dallas adopted a plan to achieve zero waste by 2040. Created in 2013, the “Zero Waste Plan” will provide waste diversion goals and timelines specific to residents and businesses in the city. Residents and business leaders may find information on the plan by clicking here.
Healthcare institutions will also be a part of the plan. Expending volumes of resources for operations and patient care, the average hospital generates 33 pounds of waste per staffed hospital bed per day, with $15 billion per year in medical supplies discarded. In addition, $72 million a year is spent on supply chain functions. In the U.S., hospitals waste production exceeds 5.9 million tons annually, with 70 percent of the waste recyclable.
With hospitals estimated to be the second largest generator of waste in the U.S., it is important to instill sustainable practices into daily operations and provide resources and education to provide guidance to divert waste resulting in a positive final impact.
The City of Dallas Sanitation Services Department is excited to announce a link specific to the healthcare industry that provides information concerning waste diversion, links to resources to ensure medical supplies and equipment are diverted from the landfill. The link also contains information on how to recycle. To view the website, please click here.
As part of the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s (HFMA) seminar “Lead This Way: Women’s Forum” today at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Las Colinas, a panel of the area’s top female executives discussed “Earning Our Stripes – Lessons from Leaders.” DFW Hospital Council Foundation President Kristin Jenkins served as panel moderator to Pam Stoyanoff, executive vice president at Methodist Health System, Audra Early, division vice president at Kindred Healthcare and Daniela Decell, president/CEO at Las Colinas Medical Center.