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Accurate Data Collection in the Health Care System as a Means of Improving Quality in Health Care

AccurateData Collection in the Health Care System as a Means of ImprovingQuality in Health Care


AccurateData Collection in the Health Care System as a Means of ImprovingQuality in Health Care

Today,there is increased awareness among people on what they should expectfrom the health care system and how providers should treat them. This is as a result of advancements in technology and communicationwhich has made information freely available to people. Such awarenesshas been accompanied by a ripple effect among medical providers andhealth departments in terms of improved level of services that theyoffer to their clients. They understand that patients expect onlyhighest quality care from them, and, therefore, a majority of healthcare providers are frantically searching for new and better ways ofenhancing the quality of care to meet customer demands. One of theways through which this is achieved is through proper employeetraining to improve client relations. Another way to enhance quality,organizational efficiency and customer satisfaction is througheffective utilization of health information systems. Accurate datacollection methods in health information systems can improve thequality of care.

Needspresent within the selected case study

Thehealth spending of the United States in terms of health and healthcare related activities exceeds that of all other countries by a widemargin. However, despite this heavy spending in health care, thehealth care system still lags behind when compared with that of otherdeveloped countries (Kupperman, Gardner, &amp Pyor, 2013). Healthcare information systems can play an integral role towards qualitypromotion and the improvement of health care delivery. Preston and Ho(2010) established that the US continues to experience low lifeexpectancy levels and this trend can be largely attributed to poorperformance of the health care information systems. For instance,prostate cancer rates have been high in the US, but since theintroduction of the PSA screening tests, these rates havesignificantly reduced. Therefore, efficient data collection in healthcare systems can improve health outcomes and increase lifeexpectancy. The main health care needs within the selected case studyare:

  1. Early detection of health problems

  2. Provision of timely and effective interventions after identification of health complications

  3. Increased speed of care delivery

  4. Timely and accurate verification of dosages and medications

  5. Promotion of safer health care through the reduction of repetitions of risky procedures and tests

Characteristicsof a successful Q1

  1. Should work as systems and processes. An organization has to understand its delivery system and critical process so as to make improvements. Processes within a body contain two components, what is done and how it should be done. Improvements are done by addressing either of the two, but for great success, both should be addressed together

  2. Focus on patients. One of the most important measures of quality is by the varying extent that patients’ needs and expectations have been met. For an organization to ensure this, they need to provide safety to patients, coordinate care with other sectors of the health care system and provide a detailed care provision of their patients.

  3. Focus on being part of a team. Quality improvement is a team process. It becomes the responsibility of every team member to contribute and be active in all the activities since the process might include different fields in which no one can be familiar in all of them.

  4. Focus on use of data. Data is the backbone of QI. It is used to explain the workings of current systems and what it would mean if changes are made. Data helps the organization to know what is happening at present and to also documents achievement of objectives.

Goalsof the Minnesota Department of health (MDH)

TheMinnesota Department of health seeks to change the culture of qualityprovision across the health care sector. Also, the department ensuresthat staff does not see offering quality as extra work but as a dutythat they should accomplish without supervision since it is ingrainedin their attitude and behavior in work. Even if there is a change inleadership the employees remain fully committed to quality withoutcompromise. The MDH also seeks to establish an efficient performancemanagement system. They aim for performance management to occur inall the levels of an organization and also including the employees inmaking everyday improvements. Data used for making a decision throughestablishing standards and results the data is used to monitor,measure and communicate the progress of the expected results. Thedepartment also aims to improve the structure of quality across alllevels of the organization. Quality improvement should be disregardeddue hierarchy in the organization but should be upheld by everyleader, subordinate and staff.

MDHSmart and meaningful objectives

Agood and well-functioning public health practice should incorporatestrong objectives that measure progress towards particular meaningfulobjectives and outcomes (Minnesota Department of Health, 2016). Smart objectives make it easy to communicate progress and intendedimpacts, facilitates monitoring and evaluation, promotes thedevelopment of an effective work plan, and provides a roadmap thatindicates how goals will be met. Smart objectives should be specific,measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Specific means thatthe objective should be well-defined so that it is clear and conciseto everyone. To be measurable, and objective should be designed insuch a manner that the level of success and improvements can bemeasured. An achievable objective should not be too far-fetched itcan be attained with the available skills and resources. Time-boundmeans that the targets should be set within certain pre-defined andrealistic timelines while a relevant objective should conform to, andsupport, the general organizational mission, and vision.

Examplesof smart objectives include

  1. To facilitate early identification and survival rates from treatable diseases by implementing accurate data collection approaches in the healthcare systems to help reduce the mortality rates by half by December 2017.

  2. Public health staff to meet with stakeholders at colleges in their jurisdiction so as to get three or four colleges working on tobacco-free ground policies at their respective institutions.

  3. ii. Reducing the percentage of 9th graders with obesity from 8% to 7% by December 31, 2019.

  4. iii. USA County management to offer quality improvement training to staff giving a 75% raise of informed employees by December 31st, 2019.


TheSystem Design Life-Cycle (SDLC) refers to the complete process ofplanning, developing, testing, deploying, and maintaining informationsystems. To implement effective and accurate data collection systemsto enhance quality of care, a system change should be conducted. Thisprocess of change will encompass all the SDLC stages which are:

  1. System study. This is the planning stage that involves identifying and evaluating the problem, and finding an appropriate solution in the form of a suitable system that can tackle the problem

  2. Feasibility study. This represents that next phase of SDLC and entails conducting an extensive evaluation of the selected system to establish its effectiveness. The examination analyzes whether the system can meet the requirements of the user, help cut on costs in the long-term, and facilitates efficient utilization of available resources

  3. The design stage. This is one of the most important stages of SDLC. Scroggins (2014) states that this is the stage where you communicate to the stakeholders that their needs have been effectively understood and incorporated into the program. This will entail a wide variety of activities such as definition of interfaces, data, and components for the system

  4. Coding, testing, and implementation. Coding entails developing a programming language to make the system workable. After that, the system is tested to see if it is working properly. Finally, system implementation is carried out and maintenance scheduled from time to time.


Decisionmodels are an essential tool that organizations utilize to guideindividuals to make proper decisions. Therefore, it is valuable toutilize a decision model when carrying out the implementation ofaccurate data collection health information systems to enhancequality of care. The shared decision model will be used. This is atype of decision model that allows clinicians and patients share thebest available evidence when faced with the task of making decisions(Elwyn et, al, 2012). Since the customers too are stakeholders in thehealth process, the shared decision model will facilitatecollaborative effort to ensure that the new system will be acceptedand relevant to all gatekeepers.


Leadershipis the crucial cog that will ensure that the wheel of theimplementation process continues to move smoothly and efficiently(Eckert et, al, 2014). There are a number of stakeholders who will beinvolved in the health information system`s implementation, and manyof them will have specific leadership roles to play. My role in theimplementation process would be that of an informatics leader.Informatics is a major part of the implementation process and myknowledge and understanding of clinical information system software,and hardware will enable me to facilitate the amalgamation of the newsystem interventions with organizational workflow thereby promotingcompatibility. Merging the organizational goals with the new system’srequirements will go a long way towards ensuring that the IT strategysupports the general organizational goals and objectives. Therefore,the new interventions will add value to the health care process andlead to enhanced quality of care delivery.

Continuousquality improvement goals

HealthInformation Technology is a critical tool in QI since it helps toshare, store and analyze health data. Healthcare providers areturning to HIT to improve the care of patients and also to maintainrelations with patients even when they are not in the hospital.Continuous quality improvement facilitates movement of the practicefrom current state to a desirable future state (National LearningConsortium, 2013). The highly dynamic nature of the health caresector means that it is imperative for health organizations to carryout continuous assessments to stay relevant. The following goals andobjectives will ensure continuous quality improvement of the system

  1. Conducting extensive and regular monitoring and evaluation of the system’s functionalities

  2. Implementation of an organizational culture that fosters and rewards safety and improvement

  3. Utilization of proven and evidence-based approaches towards quality improvement

  4. Ensuring that the system is flexible enough to adapt to changes and standardizing processes and ensuring conformity to the standards

  5. Have sufficient and appropriately qualified staff and always incorporate relevant and effective technology to reduce error, improve functioning, and foster safety

Applicablefederal and state laws

Inthe case study, &quotDoctor and two former hospital employees pleadguilty to HIPPA violation,&quot we see that there was a breach ofpatient privacy and confidentiality which could have led to serioussecurity repercussions. Despite there being positive motives behindthe implementation of health information technologies, self-interestand malice may take over making the systems potentially harmfulrather than beneficial. Therefore, to enhance trust and confidence inthe systems, it is important that unauthorized access and misuse ofinformation is prevented. This can only be achieved through theimplementation of effective and appropriate federal and state lawsand regulations. The following state and federal laws are applicable:

  1. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This is a federal law that provides guidelines to ensure that patient data information is private and secure.

  2. Minnesota Health Records Act. A state Act that ensures that patients have full access to complete, accurate, and current information that is in possession of the provider (Denisco &amp Barker, 2013)

  3. Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. This is a federal law enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009

HIT/Q1 Acquisition

Inthe quest for quality health services and increased patient’ssafety, specialists in the field of medicine and InformationTechnology (IT) have developed of systems or programs that helpreduce errors, accidents or fatal attacks during care period Falveyet al(2016). For the purpose of implementing only quality informationsystems or programs, influential organizations such as Institute orMedicine (IOM) and Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) haveemerged and positively transformed the care quality. The use ofinformation System has improved the patient`s experience through costreduction, improved care quality and integration of differentelements or stakeholders towards proper management of patients`affairs. Effective Q1 system acquisition involves understanding andreviewing the procurement process, selecting a provider, andnegotiating a contract. Thereafter, the solution is implemented andplans developed to maintain and continuously monitor the informationsystem


DeNisco,S., &amp Barker, A. M. (2013). Advancedpractice nursing: Evolving roles for the transformation of theprofession.Burlington, Mass: Jones &amp Bartlett Learning.

Eckert,R., West, M., Altman, D., Steward, K. &amp Pasmore, B. (2014).Delivering a collective leadership strategy for health care. Retrieveon 30/10/2010 fromhttps://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/files/kf/media/delivering-collective-leadership-ccl-may.pdf

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Nationallearning Consortium (2013). ContinuousQuality Improvement (CQI) Strategies to Optimize Your Practice.Retrieved fromhttps://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/nlc_continuousqualityimprovementprimer.pdf

MinnesotaDepartment of Health (2016). PublicHealth and Q1 Toolbox: SMART Objectives.Accessed November 15. Fromhttp://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/opi/qi/toolbox/print/objectives.pdf

Scroggins,R. (2014) SDLC and Development methodologies. GlobalJournal of Computer Science and Technology.Vol. 14, No. 7.