New standard expands hospital info policy, including tracking whether patients speak any one of 65 primary languages

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Tue Jan 8 14:09:53 UTC 2008

New standard expands hospital info policy
Monday, January 07, 2008

By Stephanie Brown
sbrown at

New Jersey has adopted a new reporting standard for hospitals that
gives policy makers additional information on the four million
in-patient admissions and out-patient visits each year. Working in
cooperation with hospitals statewide, the state Department of Health
and Senior Services began collecting data from hospital admissions and
patient visits on Jan. 1 using the new standard, which is required by
the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Hospitals are
now required to report data on a patient's race and ethnicity, primary
language spoken, as well as medical problems when admitted and
discharged. The Department of Health and Senior Services has also
developed a template for collecting and reporting data that is
consistent with federal reporting standards.

"This data helps us ask important questions about our state's health
care system and the health of our diverse populations," said Health
and Senior Services Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs. "It will certainly
help us measure our progress as we continue to implement our strategic
plan to improve the health of minority communities."

Some of the changes include:

Tracking whether patients speak any one of 65 primary languages;
Collecting more information on infections and other conditions a
patient may have when admitted;
Providing more clinical information, allowing a provider to note up to
25 different diagnoses for a patient; and
Offering expanded choices on patient race, including several
multiracial choices, and more clearly defined Hispanic ethnicity

Whether it's weight loss, better health or more energy, LifeSteps
weight management can help you successfully reach your goals in 2008.
LifeSteps is a 12-week program that helps participants evaluate and
change eating habits through weekly group meetings, expert instruction
and individualized feedback. A fee is charged. The Kennedy Health
System will offer free LifeSteps orientation sessions this month at
sites in Voorhees, Washington and Cherry Hill townships. Hear
first-hand from successful LifeSteps participants, while learning how
LifeSteps can work for you. Orientation sessions begin at 6:30 p.m.
and will be held on:

Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the Kennedy Center at Voorhees, 1099 White Horse Road.
Wednesday, Jan. 16, Kennedy Memorial Hospital, 435 Hurffville-Cross
Keys Road in Washington Township.
Thursday, Jan. 17, Kennedy Memorial Hospital, 2201 Chapel Ave. West in
Cherry Hill.

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