Ensure data quality

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To ensure that the information being sent to CIHI is complete and accurate, it is recommended that your organization establish data quality policies and procedures. Things that you can do and check before and after you submit your data include the following:

Audit the assessment

  1. Are the person identifiers (Birthdate, Health Card Number, other unique person identifiers) correct?
  2. Are all dates correct and within the required time frame (e.g., admission date, assessment reference date, date assessment signed as complete, discharge date)?
  3. Are all applicable sections of the assessment (Skin and Wound, Pain, Mood, etc.) complete?
  4. Are the items that relate to each other (e.g., physical conditions and medication side effects) coded correctly?
  5. Was the assessment coded with valid values as identified in the coding guidelines?

Check the submission file

  1. How many records does the file contain? Some software will provide the record count prior to extracting the records into the submission file.
  2. Does the file name include your organization number, the quarter and the fiscal year? 

Review the CIHI submission reports

  1. Visit Operational Reports
  2. Were all of the submitted records accepted?
  3. If applicable, investigate the reason for rejection, address it and resubmit the record(s) in a new file.

Your organization can work with your vendor to determine whether the software can support data quality procedures. Ask your vendor these questions:

  1. Are clinical coding flags available at the front end of the user interface?
  2. Are edits in place to ensure that person identifiers (Birthdate, Health Card Number, other unique person identifiers) are unique to the person and cannot be shared?
  3. Can the software run assessment history reports for several quarters?
  4. Can the software run reports for quality indicators, outcome scales, and Resource Utilization Group (RUG) and System for Classification of In-Patient Psychiatry (SCIPP) categories?

It is important to be aware of the data quality processes within your organization, region or jurisdiction.

Benefits of data quality checks

  • Monitor and demonstrate the compliance of activities, including the timeliness of submissions
  • Track submission activities (number of record submissions accepted, rejected or deleted in the CIHI database)
  • Measure and monitor outcomes after data quality initiatives have been implemented

Collecting accurate information in the assessment leads to efficiencies and better decisions, which provides a better quality of care for the person.

Data quality activities should be monitored on an ongoing basis. In addition, data quality procedures should be reviewed regularly and updated as necessary.

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