A couple of weeks ago, there was an open door forum for inpatient rehabilitation providers to explain the newest quality measures and reporting requirements. Just after, I voiced my concerns about the inability to aggregate CAUTI data separate from others as a certified inpatient rehabilitation facility as it did not seem appropriate to merge IRF/unit outcomes with non-certified rehabilitation “wards” in the NHSN data base. If you didn’t have a chance to preview that blog, you may read it Quality Reporting Blog.
CMS provided attendees to the open door forum with an email address to ask questions as they always do after educational sessions. When I emailed my question, I received an immediate response. Colleagues and I from Mediware were able to speak with representatives from CMS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and RTI in an informative call this past week to discuss the ability to aggregate data specific to certified facilities and units. They were happy to report that by late January or early February, there will be updates written that will address our concerns. In those updates we’ll learn of new “location” categories that will be published specific to certified facilities/units. In addition, certified hospitals/units that have sent their data into the National Health Safety Network (approximately 20) should be able to have their data migrated over to the newer location designations once they are created. These new insights are incredibly helpful and important as IRFs/units begin to compare outcomes.
As we move rapidly toward changes in regulations, it is important to ask questions. Questions lead to improved insight toward industry needs. Don’t be shy, I learned CMS and the CDC wholeheartedly appreciate questions and constructive criticism; by addressing our needs, expectations will become clearer as we near closer to 2012 reporting.