One of the themes of our Data Management Strategies group is around Data and Information Quality. We (Gartner IT1) sponsor and participate in the annual MIT Information Quality Symposium. That’s what makes IT1 a bit different among the Gartner offerings – not only do we target our research at the practitioner, but we also feels its integral to our mission to participate, sponsor, and be involved in events as a “voice of the customer”.
A rather public display of Data Quality issues in the healthcare arena surfaced a few weeks ago. Reported by Maureen McKinney at Modern Healthcare Magazine, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was planning on releasing information on hospital comparative data for medical conditions acquired as a result of the hospital stay. As you would expect, this could be pretty sensitive, may impact a facility’s reputation, and better be right.
A September 23rd release date has been postponed indefinitely.
We should applaud CMS for taking the effort. The amount of comparative healthcare data on the web is exploding – enabling healthcare consumers to make informed decisions. But SNAFUs such as these certainly add greater urgency to efforts that address data quality. That’s why we recently completed a Data Quality Contextual Research project (lead by Gartner VP and analyst Joe Bugajski). The results of which will be forthcoming in Gartner IT1 reports.
But those issues aside, it’s really disconcerting when the Hospital Compare website returns this: