By: In: Healthcare On: Feb 02, 2017

A lot has been written about the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, better known as MACRA, since it was published in October 2016. The intent of this legislation seems fairly straight forward: to provide patients with cost-effective, valued-based care. At a mere 2,400 pages, my initial response was, “Holy MACRA!” However, now that we’ve entered 2017, the transition year, and I’ve had the opportunity to read up on the Act and become familiar with its core tenants, I’m optimistic about the potential success the rule will have in creating a healthcare culture where reimbursements to doctors are based on quality and value and not simply on the volume of care.

For years I have been amazed by the lack of accurate, consistent, comprehensive or reliable patient data at many healthcare institutions. Poor quality data due to the lack of systematic data quality management clearly has broad organizational impacts, with consequences ranging from disruptive or even dangerous breaks in the care process, to the impact on a health system’s reputation. Accordingly, managing the quality and integrity of data must be a continual process, not just a one-and-done project. And, it requires formalized oversight and management – so you can toss the notion of divine intervention to the curb.

In addition, the heightened need for accurate and reliable data has never been more important given the emerging focus on Information Governance. Healthcare organizations must recognize information as a strategic asset if they want to deliver superior patient care, focus on big data analytics, ensure accurate billings and manage the revenue cycle. Identifying, remediating, and preventing duplicate patient records is critical to ensure proper identity management and the completeness and accuracy of data capture in a patient’s health record.

While much is uncertain about the future state of healthcare reform, there is one thing that holds true – data cleanliness is next to godliness.

Please join me in continuing this conversation at the #HIMSS17 conference at my YourTurn@HIMSS Session on Data Quality and Integrity (Feb. 20, 2017, 3-4pm EST, Room W300 at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando FL) or visit me at the Iron Mountain booth (5453).

Join the pledge to #makeHITcount. Share your story, thought or prediction about how you and others make a difference in Health IT with a tweet, FB, LI or Insta post and let’s #makeHITcount together. Stop by our booth 5453 at #HIMSS17 for a special treat on us.

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About the author

Karen Snyder

Director, Industry Solutions Marketing, Iron Mountain Karen Snyder joined Iron Mountain in 2005 as the Product Marketing Manager for the company’s healthcare vertical. She is currently leading Iron Mountain’s industry solutions marketing efforts, focusing on healthcare, government and the legal vertical. Ms. Snyder was instrumental in launching the Digital Record Center® for Medical Images and the Iron Mountain EMR Enablement Solution, and was the recipient of Iron Mountain’s prestigious President’s Award in 2008. Prior to joining Iron Mountain, Ms. Snyder spent over 12 years in various marketing, strategy and finance positions at AT&T. She graduated with distinction, earning a dual-MBA in Marketing and International Business from New York University (NYU) and also holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from NYU.