For next year's National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics is proposing to talk to more providers; to ask physicians whether and how complementary and alternative medicine figures into their patient treatment plans; and to use laptop computers to collect patient data and enter information from provider interviews.
CDC plans e-data collection for NAMCS
According to a CDC notice scheduled to be posted in Friday's Federal Register (PDF), this "will greatly reduce paperwork and will increase efficiency in data processing" and the laptops will "meet the government's security requirements."
Patient demographic information, the reason for patients' visits, as well as the providers' diagnoses and the medications prescribed will be among the data collected. The CDC also said it would continue its supplemental mail survey, started in 2008, on providers' use of electronic health records.
According to the Federal Register notice, the survey, commonly known as the NAMCS, will include interviews with 16,237 office-based physicians and community health center providers (including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and nurse midwives); and 2,008 community health center directors.
The 2012 survey will include almost 19,000 provider or administrator interviews, more than doubling the more than 7,100 interviews conducted in the 2011 survey. Also, the 2012 survey will include statistical estimates for 34 states. Previously, only national and regional estimates were provided, a CDC spokeswoman said.
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