Handling EMPI Data Stewardship in Healthcare

Data stewards play an important role in maintaining data quality throughout a healthcare enterprise.  Ultimately, when an EMPI is unable to programmatically decide on a match, the records in question are logged as a task and placed into queue.  Depending on the EMPI selected, the record may be routed to a specific user or to a general queue.  When the data steward processes each task, they can decide whether or not to link the records together and can make any final adjustments to how the Master Enterprise record is derived.

Three approaches can be taken for how to manage these tasks, as identified in the table below.

It should be noted that active integration minimizes the need for data stewards all together, as the registration process is streamlined on the front end, preventing duplicates from being erroneously entered.

Approach Strengths Weaknesses
No Data Stewards, Do Nothing – If organization doesn’t have the ability to provide resources to manage potential duplicates / linkages, it may elect to do nothing and leave them as is (two separate records).  Majority of records will automatically match on their own.  Low overhead for user intervention. Many records will not be linked, because they will fall into a “Potential Duplicate” category.
Data Stewards assigned to process tasks for the whole HIE One or two users with a background in HIM can process all records that come into the queue.  This can be done as a partial workload.  If active integration is in place, the amount of tasks decreases. Users may have to make decisions based upon data in systems they may not have great knowledge about.
Data Stewards identified for each registration system – tasks are routed based upon the new record’s source system Assigned data stewards are specialists in at least one of the systems marked in the task.

If active integration is in place, the amount of tasks decreases.

More users must be trained and their productivity monitored.  Users may still have difficulty making decisions based upon the other source system(s) involved in the task.

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