A. Context of the project/placement
The aim of the Health Information Management student placement program at La Trobe University aims to develop real world health information management knowledge and skills through application in supervised professional placements in healthcare and related agencies. Students have the opportunity to undertake placements in a wide spectrum of health based agencies, including government departments.
The Department of Health is one of nine state government departments in Victoria . It is the lead agency overseeing all health services, mental health, ageing and aged care, and preventative health. It is responsible for policy development, funding and regulation ...view middle of the document...
b. Your Role
In order to conduct a thorough health data analysis of the Removals List, I first had to research and understand the reporting guidelines that constitute the reporting of Principal Prescribed Procedure codes. The Principal Prescribed Procedure is the ‘elective’ procedure for which the patient has been principally placed on the waiting list . Principal prescribed procedure codes are grouped into specific and nonspecific codes. Specific codes contain exact descriptions for a type of procedure and nonspecific codes are mandatory codes that are used when no specific description exists. The nonspecific codes are free text entry based. The context of my project was to analyse the nonspecific subset of codes submitted to the Department of Health.
The removals list was generated as a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet extracted from the Elective Surgery information System Database. In total, the removals list amounted to 176,624 removals from the 1st July 2012 to the 30th of June 2013. The subset of nonspecific removal codes was 22,950 in which specific codes were excluded from the scope of the analysis. Over a period of eight weeks my role was to investigate trends within the free text entries for key criteria set by the Data collections Unit. The criteria aimed to investigate where new specific principal prescribed procedures could be created given a large number of free text entries appeared to be specific enough to warrant a new code. The analysis determined where entries in the removals list should be excluded from the Elective surgery Information System. Nonspecific codes that were not considered elective in nature, non-reportable and not within the scope of the Elective Surgery information System were marked as excluded.
The project provided insight into issues pertaining to data quality which can be attributed to a lack of adherence to reporting policies and guidelines. In particular the use of nonspecific Principal Prescribed Procedure codes demonstrated various entries which were not elective in nature and non-reportable. The findings of the project indicated that out of the 22,950 nonspecific codes that were applied, 3242 were marked as excluded. This highlights the importance of conducting audits as 3242 removals were not elective in nature or non-reportable for the Elective Surgery Information System. A total of 2075 removals which were assigned a...