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A1. Discrete and Continuous Data Differences
Discrete data would be classified as distinct, whole numbers; this type of data would be gathered by counting. For example, the number of patients that enter a hospital or the number of pushups you do every morning. Discrete data more involves counting than measuring. Continuous data, on the other hand, is classified as measurable data; the numbers between two whole numbers. Continuous data is all about accuracy; for example, the exact weight of a patient in decimal would be continuous data, or the temperature on a refrigerator. These are exact numbers, usually in decimal form. Even if you were to round to the next whole number, such as measuring height: the height of a patient is 5 feet, 2 ¼ inches tall; typically you wouldn’t add the ¼ measurement, you would round to the nearest whole number which, in this case, would be 2. This is still considered continuous data because it is a precise measurement (Koch, 2015). In Health Information Management, examples of discrete data would be the number of days a patient is in the hospital or the number of charts that you review every day. Examples of continuous data would be the patient’s weight on a chart or the error rate that is calculated to determine coding accuracy within the department.
A2. Scales of Measurement
1. Nominal Data – numerical code assigned to a patient who uses Medicaid as insurance
2. Ordinal Data – Pain scale from 1-10 asked to the patient to rank; the higher the rank, the more pain the patient is in.
3. Interval Data – PH balance where the value between 2 numbers is critical in understanding how acidic or alkaline a patient’s PH is. 0 actually indicates the highest level of acidity, not that there is no value.
4. Ratio Data (Ratio Scale) – Flow rate on a continuous IV administered to the patient. 0 in a ratio scale actually would indicate no fluid would be administered. If the scale reads 2-4 ml/minute, this would be a ratio scale.
B1. Average Length of Stay (LOS)
1. May = 3,908 total discharged patients, including deaths / 13,965 combined Length of Stays: 13,965/3,908 = 3.75 or 3.6 days
2. June = 4,033 total discharged patients, including deaths/ 16,224 combines Length of Stays: 16,224/ 4,033 = 4.02 or 4 days
B2. Death Rate
1. May = 62 deaths x 100 / 3,908 total discharges, including deaths: 62×100 = 6,200 / 3,908 = 1.58 or 1.6%
2. June = 15 deaths x 100 / 4,033 total discharges, including deaths: 15×100 = 1,500 / 4,033 = 0.37 or 0.4%
B3. Average Census
1. May = 4,360 service days / 31 days in May: 4,360 / 31 = 140.6 or 141 patients/day
2. June = 4,920 service days / 30 days in June: 4,920 / 30 = 164 patients/day
B4. Chart or Graph
C. Regression Analysis
See attached Excel report
D. Healthcare Delivery Improvement
Regression analysis provides proof of the large impact LOS has on cost; therefore, this would allow the organization calculating this model to predict their future financial health. Providing the average LOS and using this model, an organization can also determine how quickly they are able to improve the health of the patient. Ultimately, all data can be used to forecast how financially healthy the organization would be, the number of patients they can provide healthcare to, and also the positive impact they have on a patient’s health based on the low percentage of mortality at the organization. Calculating the mortality rate at the organization will also help in identifying any areas that need improvement and help determine the effectiveness of care at the facility (Oachs, 2016). Calculating the average census would help the organization predict how busy they will be during any given month which will ultimately allow them to financially prepare to have more associates working during this time to ensure quality care is being provided to every patient (Oachs, 2016).
E1. Professional Ethics
AHIMA was established to improve the standard practices within an organization pertaining to clinical records. Since 1928, AHIMA, although called by different names, has always understood that the medical record was critically important to the patient and to an organization. It wasn’t until the 1970s when HIM professionals started having major involvement in healthcare institutions and the values that AHIMA represents became apparent in the HIM professional scope of work. Their mission of involving and empowering people to ensure the accuracy and completeness of health information has transformed health systems on a global level (AHIMA, 2019).
The AHIMA code of ethics is what every organization mirror when developing their own ethical coding practices. Its purpose is to set professional values and ethical principles for HIM professionals to follow. Values such as integrity during the coding process, protecting the privacy and security of patient health information, disclosing health information appropriately; AHIMA’s code of ethics also provides guidelines for when unethical situations arise in the workplace. Several other principles of AHIMA’s code of ethics that are pertinent to an HIM professional are: using technology as it is intended and not for personal use or gain, respecting the dignity of every single person, and to refuse to participate in or conceal unethical practices but to also feel confident to report such practices (AHIMA, 2019). These principles and guidelines are essential for every HIM professional to follow.
E2. Application of Ethics
An HIM professional, according to AHIMA’s code of ethics, must advocate for appropriate uses of information across the healthcare system (AHIMA, 2019). This implies that any information obtained must be accurate and the integrity of the data be maintained. When gathering and reporting data, the HIM professional must ensure that they are following organizational policies, but also following procedures laid out by certain legislations, such as HIPAA. When retrieving this data at Felder Community Hospital, the HIM professional must be sure the data is complete and accurate, but also not manipulate the data which would mislead the organization’s belief in the accuracy of the statistics being provided.
E3. Application of HIPAA
According to HIPAA guidelines and AHIMA’s code of ethics, only information that is relevant or necessary is to be disclosed; the minimum necessary standard mandated by HIPAA must be followed when gathering and reporting of any patient data, even if only gathering and reporting within the organization for education purposes. For this scenario at Felder Community Hospital, the data being gathered is to provide education to the HIM department on how to improve healthcare delivery, therefore the HIM manager must still be very careful in gathering only the necessary data needed to provide this education, and nothing more. Also, the HIM manager must be able to follow the de-identification process outlined by HIPAA in order to remove any patient identifiers such as names, social security numbers, medical record numbers or addresses that could potentially create numerous problems for the organization if released.
F. APA Sources
Koch, G. (2015). Basic Allied Health Statistics and Analysis, 4e. [Western Governors University]. Retrieved from https://wgu.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781305176416/
Oachs, P. (2016). Health information management: concepts, principles, and practice (5th edition. [Western Governors University]. Retrieved from https://wgu.vitalsource.com/#/books/978-1-58426-651-8/
AHIMA Code of Ethics. (Revised 2019). Retrieved May 12, 2020, from https://bok.ahima.org/doc?oid=105098#.XrspMMhKiUk
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