Structured Reporting Key to Data Integrity Challenges

Seeking to overcome data integrity challenges, the American College of Cardiology (ACC), American Heart Association (AHA) and Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), in collaboration with 14 other professional societies, recently released ahealth policy statement that defines the clinical standards for structured reporting in the cardiac catheterization suite.

Woman with dataThe requirements are designed to make data more timely, accessible, consistent and usable, and serve to standardize reporting on a variety of cardiac catheterization procedures. They also call for increased reporting, heightened regulatory and reimbursement scrutiny, and the expansion of appropriate use criteria (AUC).

The Issue
The policy statement seeks to resolve a very specific issue:  poor data integrity. The underlying problem is that system limitations force many cardiology service providers to continue utilizing error-prone, time-consuming manual processes that can ultimately impact quality and reporting compliance. Consider a recent KLAS survey in which 45 percent of providers said they consider their cardiology systems to be incomplete. The majority pointed to clinical reporting as the missing link, while others found that cardiology systems lack the reporting functionality necessary to effectively compile and validate data.

The Resolution
Data integrity issues can be resolved. The first step is to establish a road map to close gaps in current data collection and reporting. A key element in this road map should be automating documentation, coding and reporting processes for significantly improved data collection and reporting.

In addition to overcoming standardization issues, automation can:

  • Mitigate the risk of error for improved quality
  • Increase reporting efficiency and accelerate patient throughput
  • Eliminate human errors that can lead to incomplete documentation and incorrect coding
  • Standardize documentation of criteria necessary to establish medical necessity

By automating traditionally manual processes, cardiology service lines can standardize documentation of medical necessity, while still allowing other areas to be customized according to physician preference.

The Benefit
Achieving widespread adoption of structured reporting will require a multi-sector change that will affect administrators, physicians and staff. However, the efficiencies enabled by structured reporting will be well worth the effort—in particular more compliant, comprehensive and trustworthy reporting.


To learn more about how you can resolve data reporting issues, download our white paper, Overcoming Data Integrity Challenges in ACC Reporting.