Mastering Your Provider Data with Master Data Management01/08/2019
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Let’s talk about your provider data. Is it complete? Is it accurate? Is it consistent?

Like most health systems, the answer to at least one of these questions is no. That’s because your provider data likely sits across multiple data systems, each one holding different bits and pieces of information. Names and NPIs might live in one system, email addresses live somewhere else, while office locations and phone numbers sit in a third system.

What happens when information needs to be updated? Who ensures that each system is changed appropriately? And what is the impact when it doesn’t? Enterprise-wide information like provider data is often referred to as master data, and it can easily become fragmented, duplicated and quickly become out of date if not managed properly. As health systems continue to generate and acquire more data, the importance of master data management for these key data assets has never been more important.

At Northwestern, taking on a master data management for their provider data meant consolidating three separate systems into one merged, source of truth location. Provider records could now be viewed and updated from a single location, meaning more accurate, standard and trusted data. What exactly is the impact of an initiative like that? How big of a difference could it make?

Over the course of the year-long initiative, more than 16,000 Northwestern provider records were mastered across the three source systems. Within those records, there were some important and impressive successes:

Some of the most important data assets your health system has is data on your providers. It dictates how you do business today, and influences your future decisions. How many providers do you employ for reporting purposes? Which PCP offices are open on Saturdays for new patient visits? Are the number of bilingual providers sufficient for your primary service area? Knowing you have a single, consistent source of data to answer these questions will ensure that your health system is ready to tackle both today’s and tomorrow’s biggest challenges.

If you’re ready to get started and master your provider data, let’s talk.

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