HealthIT Buzz: Project US@ – Advancing Health Equity Requires Better Data

One of the single greatest social determinants of health is where a patient lives.  It can determine their risk factor for a specific illness or chronic disease, such as asthma, and can also affect much broader measures of well-being and life expectancy. Thus, our ability as healthcare professionals to measure and act on such factors relies heavily on how we accurately capture and manage standardized patient addresses. The standardization of patient address data across healthcare strengthens our ability to measure the social, economic, political, and physical environments that impact health. It also improves our ability to identify and match patient records within and across health systems. Technical standards, specifications, operational guidance, and best practices must work together for handling high quality patient data to advance health equity. A health equity by design philosophy seeks to improve data integrity and better patient matching for all patients…

We are hearing from consumer engagement subject matter experts and advocates to develop best practices and guidance for how to engage patients in their demographic data updates and maintenance to ensure the highest quality data is available when it is needed most;

  • We are collaborating with federal agencies and industry partners to explore ways to improve the collection and management of address and other demographic data for American Indian and Alaska Native communities, active military and veteran communities, patients experiencing homelessness, and others; and
  • We are working with subject matters experts in geolocation standards and data to explore ways to support patients experiencing homelessness, patients living in remote areas, and public health and population health efforts… Read the full article here.
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