Accurate value sets: The key to effective clinical initiatives

The ability to help or learn from specific patient cohorts is contingent upon being able to accurately identify them. Value sets are the tool of choice for this task, but as a recent HIMSS-IMO survey has revealed, the vast majority of respondents find them challenging to define and maintain.
Accurate value sets- The key to effective clinical initiatives

Medical value sets* help healthcare organizations to identify patient populations that share certain characteristics or conditions. It’s a fairly simple concept that can have wide-ranging implications, informing everything from clinical decision support to population health initiatives. However, this straightforward concept can be challenging to bring to life with the accuracy they require. So, why is this the case?

Code sets aren’t enough

Using code sets like ICD-10-CM and SNOMED-CT® constrain organizations and can lead to significant errors in value sets. Standardized codes simply lack the specificity value sets need.

Clinical expertise is key

In order to get them right, value set creation requires clinical input including in depth knowledge of clinical terminology and insight into not only what should be included, but also what must be excluded to capture the right cohort.

Value set maintenance isn’t optional

Organizations may invest (a lot) in medical value set development, but as new codes are released and use cases change, they lose their efficacy. Meticulous maintenance is essential, but often elusive and time-consuming.

In our latest white paper, Steven H. Rube, MD, discusses these value set pitfalls along with new HIMSS research on the topic, conducted in partnership with IMO. To learn more, download the paper below.

*Epic users may know these as groupers

SNOMED and SNOMED CT® are registered trademarks of SNOMED International.

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