Mississippi Enhances Health Data Systems

After reviewing Mississippi's health care information needs in Phase I, the state's Interagency Working Group (IWG) focused on several key areas for implementation in Phase II. These included:

  • Developing a hospital discharge database.
  • More effectively managing the state's Medicaid information system.
  • Creating a uniform data set among community health centers and the Mississippi Department of Health.
  • Establishing a health data center in the Department of Health.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Information for State Health Policy national program.

Key Results

  • The Comprehensive Data Enhancement Plan developed by the Interagency Working Group served as a guide to future enhancements of data systems and has been revised annually since 1993.
  • The hospital discharge data center had been proposed as part of the unsuccessful legislation that proposed the hospital discharge data system; however, the enabling legislation failed to pass, and no such data center was formed. Nevertheless, some progress was made on other fronts:
    • The project brought together people across agencies and the public and private sectors to discuss data issues and consider new ideas.
    • The Medicaid analyses provided important information on the populations served, costs, quality of care and access to care.
    • The community health center uniform data set helped directors to better understand their data and work toward improving it.