January 2004

Grant Results

SUMMARY

The National Association of Health Data Organizations, Salt Lake City, Utah, convened the Emergency Department Data Conference on April 22–23, 2002 in Washington as the first-ever national conference devoted solely to the collection and use of data in hospital emergency departments.

The conference provided a forum for experts to prepare a national agenda to encourage states to create and enhance statewide emergency department databases. Some experts believe that improved data collection can help states improve the performance of their public health systems and their care of vulnerable populations.

Key Results

  • Under the theme: "Emerging Frontier for Public Health Information: State Emergency Department Databases," the conference brought together representatives from more than 25 states that are in various stages of revising their emergency department data reporting systems.

    At roundtable discussions, conference faculty and participants developed a national agenda for supporting states in creating and enhancing statewide emergency department databases:
    • Develop a statewide vision and state health data plan.
    • Identify funding solutions to push states toward integration of emergency department and other health data.
    • Enhance communication and trust across all stakeholder groups.
    • Define standards for completeness and timeliness of emergency data reporting.
    • Develop national content standards and analytic tools.
    • Disseminate standards or guidelines for data release, access and pricing.
    • Improve administrative data turn-around times.
  • The project also supported two sessions focused on emergency department data collection and use at the 17th National Association of Health Data Organizations Annual Meeting, held December 2–4, 2002, in Atlanta.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided a grant of $39,970 to the association in partial support of the conference.

 See Grant Detail & Contact Information
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THE PROBLEM

The hospital emergency department is a key entry point into the health care delivery system, serving as:

  1. The first place of service for trauma victims and others requiring immediate and intensive medical services.
  2. Often the sole health care provider for the uninsured.
  3. The 24-hour back-up provider for many others.

Many states, however, do not require the same data reporting standards from their hospital emergency departments as they do from hospital inpatient units. That can limit states' understanding of its citizen's primary health care needs, use of health care services by vulnerable populations and the cause and severity of injuries and other preventable conditions.

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THE PROJECT

Under the theme: "Emerging Frontier for Public Health Information: State Emergency Department Databases," the conference brought together representatives from more than 25 states that are in various stages of revising their emergency department data reporting systems. Participants met with experts in emergency medicine and health information systems to examine national and state issues in data collection. They also highlighted best practices and addressed technical and political barriers to statewide emergency department data collection and use.

Unexpended funds from the current project also supported two sessions focused on emergency department data collection and use at the 17th National Association of Health Data Organizations Annual Meeting, held December 2–4, 2002, in Atlanta.

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RESULTS

At roundtable discussions, conference faculty and participants developed a national agenda for supporting states in creating and enhancing statewide emergency department databases.

  • Develop a statewide vision and state health data plan.
  • Identify funding solutions to push states toward integration of emergency department and other health data.
  • Enhance communication and trust across all stakeholder groups.
  • Define standards for completeness and timeliness of emergency data reporting.
  • Develop national content standards and analytic tools.
  • Disseminate standards or guidelines for data release, access and pricing.
  • Improve administrative data turn-around times.

These statewide databases are expected to expand the information available for public health policy and decision-making. Based on these discussions, project staff identified a set of activities that the National Association of Health Data Organizations plans to undertake in order to support the national agenda.

  • Monitor statewide data development through a listserv.
  • Provide limited technical assistance to states in development.
  • Promote partnerships with public health programs, Medicaid and other stakeholders.
  • Educate states on the electronic collection of emergency department data.
  • Include emergency data development sessions at the association's annual and regional meetings.

Communications

The association posted the conference proceedings on the Emergency Department Information Systems Clearinghouse, a Web site it developed as a result of the conference. The site includes a listserv and will include a tool kit of emergency department data resources, which is under development.

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AFTER THE GRANT

Project staff continues to update the clearinghouse Web site. Emergency department data collection is an ongoing priority for the National Association of Health Data Organizations, which is planning a western regional conference on the topic. Association staff will also explore the feasibility of a 2004 national conference.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Conference on Emergency Department Data Collection

Grantee

National Association of Health Data Organizations (Salt Lake City,  UT)

  • Amount: $ 39,970
    Dates: March 2002 to February 2003
    ID#:  044904

Contact

Melanie Taylor
(801) 587-9154
mtaylor@nahdo.org

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APPENDICES


Appendix 1

(Current as of the time of the grant; provided by the grantee organization; not verified by RWJF.)

Additional Conference Funders

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, $50,000
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CDC National Center for Health Statistics, CDC National Electronic Disease Surveillance Program, $23,500
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Direct travel assistance for one panelist
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, $1,000

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

World Wide Web Sites

www.nahdo.org/edmain.aspx (no longer available). "Emergency Department Information Systems Clearinghouse" includes proceedings from the Emergency Department Data Conference; an archive of listserv discussions; information on state, federal and national initiatives; and other related information. Salt Lake City: National Association of Health Data Organizations, May 2002.

Sponsored Conferences

"Emergency Department Data Conference," April 22–23, 2002, Atlanta. Attended by 106 participants, including 34 conference faculty, 30 representatives from state-based data agencies and representatives form federal agencies and national organizations, including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Center for Health Statistics, the Utah Department of Health and the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Fifteen plenary sessions and 42 presentations. Proceedings available from the National Association of Healthcare Data Organizations and online.

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Report prepared by: Mary B. Geisz
Reviewed by: Richard Camer
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Pamela S. Dickson

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