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Summer 2023

Editor’s Note: It All Comes Down to Data Integrity
By Kate Jackson
For The Record
Vol. 35 No. 3 P. 4

The cover story of this issue focuses on data integrity, but in essence, every article in the issue has data integrity at heart. The accuracy and reliability of health care data undergirds every aspect of HIM—patient identification, revenue cycle management, documentation, coding, compliance, release of information, and more. The optimal practice of each of these functions relies on complete and consistent information, as does patient safety, continuity of care, protection of private health information, and secure health information exchange.

Problems with data integrity can result in incorrect patient treatment, data theft, data breaches, loss of revenue, legal consequences, and many other potentially devastating consequences.

In “The Essence of Data Integrity,” David Navarro, senior director of data science at Harmony Healthcare IT, looks at what data integrity is, why it matters, what makes it challenging, and how industry professionals can work together to manage it.

Also in this issue, “Denials With a Capital D,” explores the many factors that have caused revenue cycle managers to struggle with capturing revenue at the pace they once did. Jonathan Wiik, vice president of Health Insights at FinThrive, offers strategies for breaking the inefficient cycle of revenue management.

In her feature article, contributor Susan Chapman, MA, MFA, targets another costly issue deviling health care (and another aspect of data integrity)—patient identification problems—and gets an expert perspective on solutions from Megan Pruente, MPH, RHIA, director of professional services for Harris Data Integrity Solutions.

And contributor Selena Chavis talks to experts about establishing sustainable CDI programs in a challenging health care environment.

Look, too, for department pieces on hybrid medical coding, including the HIM team in EHR implementation, the digitization of release of information (ROI), educating staff about ROI, and the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program.

— Kate Jackson