Data Abstractor position?

  1. Hi! Can someone tell me what a "Data Abstractor" position is? I love paperwork and details, and am happy sitting in front of a computer all day. I would love a position that would allow me to eventually become a Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialist. There is a "Data Abstractor" position available at my local hospital. Would this be a good entry level job?
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   QTBabyNurse
    Data abstractors review patients' medical records to locate specific bits of documentationon order to answer questions in a vendor tool that are related to core measures (AMI, VTE, Stroke, Perinatal,etc).

    Some hospitals also review medical records for more specific medical registries such as Get With The Guidelines Stroke or Heart Failure. These abstractions are quite involved.

    It takes someone who is able to find their way easily through the medical record as well as the ability to decider very specific instruction guidelines for answering each data element question. It helps to know classification of medications as well.
  4. by   NurseSarahJP
    I worked in our hospital Quality Department for 2 years. My starting title was Quality Data Abstractor. And yes, just like QTBabyNurse said, it lots of reviewing charts, abstracting the information into another system (we used Press Ganey and then Premier) and running lots of reports on your hospital's numbers. Our department also added other duties to my position while I was there, such as assisting our infection control nurse, concurrent reviews on the floors, etc. Let me know if you have any questions! It's a GREAT way to get your foot in the door in that entity, as these departments are small and the jobs are coveted.
  5. by   Slhengy
    It's a dead end job though. Eventually CMS will pull all data out of EMRs electronically and there will be no need for abstractors or concurrent reviewers. You get your foot in the door and then the work is gone. I would try to get into Case Management before Quality.
  6. by   QTBabyNurse
    Quote from Slhengy
    It's a dead end job though. Eventually CMS will pull all data out of EMRs electronically and there will be no need for abstractors or concurrent reviewers. You get your foot in the door and then the work is gone. I would try to get into Case Management before Quality.
    While this may be somewhat true for Core Measure data abstraction, it is far from true for other types of data abstraction such as Get with the Guidelines and other registries. Hospitals are utilizing these more and more and the information is not pulled electronically. It is all done manually.
  7. by   Slhengy
    It's ALL going to be pulled out electronically. Not just Core Measures. Once Interoperability hits, it's all going to come out of the medical record. I am a Health IT Nurse as well and I have seen what the government has in mind for all medical records coming from every doctors office, clinic and hospital in the country. That's why I am going back to school. BTW.....we use Q-Centrix to abstract our Core Measures. Do you know why? Because they did away with SCIP, HF, PN, etc. so we didn't need as many Coordinators. We had 5 and now we are down to just me. The writing is on the wall.
  8. by   QTBabyNurse
    Quote from Slhengy
    It's ALL going to be pulled out electronically. Not just Core Measures. Once Interoperability hits, it's all going to come out of the medical record. I am a Health IT Nurse as well and I have seen what the government has in mind for all medical records coming from every doctors office, clinic and hospital in the country. That's why I am going back to school. BTW.....we use Q-Centrix to abstract our Core Measures. Do you know why? Because they did away with SCIP, HF, PN, etc. so we didn't need as many Coordinators. We had 5 and now we are down to just me. The writing is on the wall.
    I work for Q-Centrix and trust me when I say this is not going away. We have a remarkably busy company that is only growing day by day!
  9. by   Slhengy
    You can believe what you want but being certified by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information (HITECH Act), I am telling you that chart abstracting is going away. I have seen both the 5 year and 10 year plan of the ONC. I have also been in Quality abstracting for 6 years and it is going to be reduced to crunching data that is coming out of the medical records. Only a matter of time.
  10. by   alabamagrad
    Hi, Slhengy. If you don't mind could you tell what you are going back to school to study. I have a BSN, but would like to get a masters but I don't want to be a crnp.

    Thanks.
  11. by   Slhengy
    I have my BSN too. I am going back for my FNP. With the coming nursing shortages and family practice shortage for physicians, it's the only thing that makes sense right now. You can also teach with an FNP.
  12. by   QTBabyNurse
    Quote from Slhengy
    You can believe what you want but being certified by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information (HITECH Act), I am telling you that chart abstracting is going away. I have seen both the 5 year and 10 year plan of the ONC. I have also been in Quality abstracting for 6 years and it is going to be reduced to crunching data that is coming out of the medical records. Only a matter of time.
    I can understand your fear because you work for ONE facility. In my position, I am an extension of the quality department for MANY hospitals that have found it more cost effective to outsource their data abstraction. That is why Q-Centrix is experiencing tremendous growth. Hospitals are looking for ways to cut costs and staffing is their biggest expense.

    Your hospital may have chosen to discontinue abstracting topped out measures, however some hospitals have chosen to continue to abstract for core measures that have become voluntary.

    There is a wide variety out there for what hospitals are choosing to abstract In order to meet their quality objectives. It's a growing field for sure!

    Sorry your specific position is being weeded out. Good thing you're pursuing education...sounds like you need a change.
  13. by   Slhengy
    I don't think you are understanding what I am telling you. It's not just my hospital....its EVERY hospital. For example, all HCA hospitals in the country are reducing their staff because ALL metrics are going to be pulled out of the electronic record. Once that happens, there won't be a need for physical chart abstractors, regardless of whether you work at Q-Centrix or a hospital. Outsourcing will go away. It's not a stable field to "enter" into.

    I would stay put if I felt that there was a future and advancement in Quality. I wouldn't throw away six years if I wasn't absolutely sure that the position is projected to change and/or diminish based on interoperability standards coming from CMS and TJC.
  14. by   QTBabyNurse
    Quote from Slhengy
    I don't think you are understanding what I am telling you. It's not just my hospital....its EVERY hospital. For example, all HCA hospitals in the country are reducing their staff because ALL metrics are going to be pulled out of the electronic record. Once that happens, there won't be a need for physical chart abstractors, regardless of whether you work at Q-Centrix or a hospital. Outsourcing will go away. It's not a stable field to "enter" into.

    I would stay put if I felt that there was a future and advancement in Quality. I wouldn't throw away six years if I wasn't absolutely sure that the position is projected to change and/or diminish based on interoperability standards coming from CMS and TJC.
    I hear what you have been saying and Q-Centrix has positioned itself to evolve with the changes that are coming down the pike. I'm not concerned one bit that my job will be phased out. I'm in quite a bit of a different situation than a lone quality coordinator at one hospital would be.

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