New guidance from the American Health Information Management Association offers best practices on data mapping to ensure an outcome with high data integrity.

“Poorly designed and out-of-date mappings create significant data integrity problems in health information systems,” according to the guidance. “Undetected errors in data maps have the potential to introduce many problems, including the filing of false claims to insurers, delivering the wrong information for patient care and/or quality measures, or causing a breach in patient privacy.”

The guidance gives examples of inappropriate data mapping if elements of code or data sets being mapped are not fully understood, and explains the importance of business rules and map heuristics (mapping projects), review of vendor maps, maintenance schedules for maps, processes and tools affecting data integrity, validity testing to assure data integrity, and best practices for avoiding data mapping errors.

“Thinking through the risks and unintended consequences of map use is mandatory before any projects are planned,” according to the guidance. “Careful consideration of liability is required before any mapping between disparate sources is attempted for health care situations.” The guidance is available here.

This piece was originally published at Health Data Management. Published with permission.

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