Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework

Process Management


Provides guidance for establishing and maintaining a usable set of data management process assets and the planning, implementing, and deployment of process improvements, informed by business goals and objectives and identified process gaps.

Introductory Notes

The organization’s data management process assets collectively support instantiation of positive behavioral changes which become the established way of working. They support organizational learning and continued process improvement by enabling the sharing of best practices across the organization. They constitute the mechanisms for improving patient demographic data. The term “assets” in this context include:

  • Defined processes – documented and approved;
  • Data and metadata standards – documented and approved;
  • Data management process metrics – documented, approved, and updated periodically;
  • Work product templates – structure and descriptions of content;
  • Sample work products – selected completed work products used for examples;
  • Persistent products – e.g. business glossary, metadata repository;
  • Guidelines – assistance with the details of performing adopted processes, tips by individuals who have performed the process, tool-specific procedures, etc.;
  • Training – process training slides, videos, etc.; and
  • Quality assurance results – gaps found, changes proposed, and lessons learned.

It is recommended to ensure availability of process assets through creation of a library, which can be automated through a portal, provided as links on an organization’s internal web site, or simply placed in a folder in a shared directory. What is important is that all stakeholders who perform, govern, or provide oversight to a process can easily access the material they need.

The organization’s data management processes for patient demographic data quality improvement include all processes addressed in this document that are used by the organization and staff. Candidate improvements proposed for processes are discovered through various means, including: process metrics, lessons learned by implementing processes, quality assurance results, work product reviews, consumer satisfaction evaluations, and benchmarking against the Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework.

Improvements to processes occurs according to the organization’s priorities and business needs. The organization should encourage process improvement suggestions from those who perform the process. The responsibility for managing the organization’s data management process assets and coordinating improvement activities is usually assigned to the data management function. Defined processes can be applied to different types of projects and levels of process activity. For example, if an organization does not host its own data store(s) for patient demographic data, data profiling is not applicable within the organization. However, data quality assessment and provider management processes are applicable, as the organization must still determine its quality standards and should attempt to ensure that vendor systems apply the organization’s quality rules to the data provided, through data profiling and data cleansing.

Organizational process assets enable consistent process execution across the organization and provide a basis for cumulative, long-term benefits to the organization, including:

  • Organizing information for all process performers and oversight staff;
  • Improving the way work is performed, thus increasing staff productivity;
  • Increasing efficiency to build and maintain data quality for patient demographic data;
  • Accumulating process information that improves adoption and repeatability of approved processes; and
  • Helping raise awareness of best practices that positively affect patient demographic data quality.

Additional Information

Process improvements are specific changes that will better align activities and outputs with goals and objectives. Improvement opportunities will arise as the result of changes in goals and objectives, from formal or informal process quality assessments (See Process Quality Assessment), as well as from periodic process assessments. It is important for the organization to assign responsibility for process management, to coordinate improvements to processes, standards, and procedures.

Data governance will usually be the leader in data management process improvement efforts, because it collectively represents an organization-wide perspective and is responsible to ensure that standards and guidelines are implemented consistently across the patient demographic data lifecycle.

Example Work Products

  • List of process problems or improvement opportunities
  • Process asset library

Additional Information

Utilizing standard processes across the patient demographic data lifecycle enables sustainable data quality and supports the goal of patient safety. Process assets, including documentation of policies, processes, standards, procedures, training materials, templates, etc., support adoption and promote consistent process implementation. In addition, it is important for the organization to establish and maintain a description of its process needs and objectives along with a set of standard processes.

Example Work Products

  • Documented process needs and objectives
  • Process improvement recommendations from execution of data management processes, such as data quality assessment, metadata management, and process quality assurance
  • Improvements selected for deployment
  • Updated process documentation and training

Additional Information

An effective process delivers benefits that outweigh the costs. Benefits and costs can be quanitified in many ways (e.g., effort, time, money, reputation, culture, and staff retention). The organization should identify and prioritize costs and benefits in the context of its goals and objectives.

Periodic evaluation of processes should evaluate selected costs and benefits to identify opportunities to improve process effectiveness. Proposed changes to processes should be evaluated for impacts prior to implementation to avoid unecessarily imposing burdens on staff roles that might compromise patient demographic data quality and threaten patient safety.

Example Work Products

  • Results of analysis of candidate process improvements
  • Approved process improvement action plan
  • Status and results of implementing process action plans
  • Set of standard processes
  • Catalog of items in the organization’s process asset library

Practice Evaluation Questions

Tier 1: Foundational

1.1 Does the organization address improvement opportunities for business processes that impact patient demographic data?

Tier 2: Building

2.1 Are process assets such as documented processes, procedures, templates and guidelines maintained and available to all relevant stakeholders?

Tier 3: Advanced

3.1 Are processes periodically reviewed for effectiveness based on an evaluation of costs, benefits, and other factors in order to incorporate suggestions for positive changes?