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Maintaining data integrity

Nicole S. Huff (nicole.huff@sluhn.org) is Chief Compliance & Privacy Officer at St. Luke’s University Health Network in Bethlehem, PA.

Everyone in the healthcare industry depends on data to do their jobs. The integrity of that data is the backbone of any healthcare organization.

Most employees create, collect, maintain, or use data whether it is during patient registration, providing a service/treatment, recording financial transactions, or submitting claims for payment. Imagine for a second the chaos that would occur if the paper or electronic data we used daily was wrong or altered. Maintaining and relying on incorrect data carries a variety of risks and liability, including patient harm and submission of inaccurate claims for payment. To avoid these risks, data integrity is essential and considered a priority for any organization. Data integrity is defined as “a dimension of data contributing to trustworthiness and pertaining to the systems and processes for data capture, correction, maintenance, transmission and retention.”[1]

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