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Measuring disparities in information capture timeliness across healthcare settings: effects on data quality
Lorence D. Journal of Medical Systems27 (5):425-433,2003.Type:Article
Date Reviewed: Jan 20 2004

According to an extensive survey done almost four years ago, a wide range of health care organizations indicated they had adopted policies dealing with the timeliness of data capture. In fact, about 61 percent of over 16,000 respondents indicated that they had policies in place. The author goes on to differentiate data quality managers from systems managers on the basis of underlying task assignments, and implies that this schism is a reason for the lack of adoption of standard policies in this area.

Data processing (in all of its elements) is a major supporting infrastructure for all modern healthcare facilities and functions. High quality, accurate, and timely data is essential to care delivery and fiscal integrity. A fully integrated information system incorporating all necessary policies and procedures is essential for success.

This paper puts the obvious into focus by showing the absence of true system integration needed to attain high-level performance. Could the situation have changed in the past four years? This is a nice overview for those interested in design and maintenance of the infrastructure. Cataloging the deficiencies and stratification of the data indicates the presence of process issues. The failure to adopt and implement timeliness policies is only noted generally; an impact is implied, but is not explicit.

Reviewer:  A. G. Greenburg Review #: CR128952 (0406-0733)
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