Use Case 22: National Practitioner Data Bank online lookup tool

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Requirements

Use case summary


Description

  • The National Practitioner Data Bank is a federally run repository for adverse actions and malpractice payouts involving doctors and other health professionals. Details on individual doctors are confidential, but summary statistics and de-identifiable data are releasable: There's a very rudimentary data analytic tool available (http://www.npdb.hrsa.gov/analysistool/) but it would be great if there was more granularity without downloading the Public Use File and agreeing to unacceptable restrictions. It would be nice to be able to see the ability to add more than two layers of analysis, for instance different categories of sanctions, by state, by year. Allowing users to layer in items like med school graduation, etc. (Perhaps limiting cell sizes to 2+?). I see this as having the potential to be as useful as the OPTN/UNOS data, also overseen by HRSA.That data site is: http://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/converge/latestData/viewDataReports.asp.

Value

  • Value to customer: ___
  • Value to industry/public: ___

Customer

  • ProPublica

Current data and limitation

  • Data source: Data Analysis Tool: http://www.npdb.hrsa.gov/analysistool/
    • How it's used: The data analysis tool allows for high-level analysis of the data in the NPDB PUF without having to download the PUF file, which can be difficult to work with. Users can choose either adverse action or medical malpractice
    • Adverse action fields:
      • Location
      • Action year
      • Practitioner type
      • Action type
    • Medical malpractice fields:
      • Location
      • Payment year
      • Practitioner type
      • Malpractice payment range
    • Limitations: The data analysis tool only allows for display of 2x2 tables. While the data fields for column and row can be selected to create a customized table, if additional subsets are applied to the data via the filters (e.g., selecting a subset of practitioner types or action types), the data is rolled up.

Data use agreement associated with data analysis tool:

Note: This file does not include any information that identifies individual practitioners or reporting entities. The file is designed to provide data for statistical reporting and analysis only.

Federal law (42 U.S.C. § 11137(b)) requires HRSA to present the data in this file in a form that does not permit use of the data alone, or in combination with other available information, to identify any particular health care entity, physician, other health care practitioner, or patient. Therefore, as a condition of obtaining access to the data, users agree:

To not use the dataset alone or in combination with other data to identify any individual or entity or otherwise link information from this file with information in another dataset in a manner that includes the identity of an individual or entity; The dataset can only be used in connection with statistical reporting or analysis.

By using these data, you signify your agreement to comply with the conditions stated above.

The PUF is updated four times per year to include data as of March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31, but the data analysis tool is only updated annually, so the data between the data analysis tool and PUF may be out of sync.

    • How it's used: ___
    • Limitations: The entire PUF is updated with every release. It is important to read the Readme associated with the PUF (provided with the PUF download) that documents the fields in the PUF and how fields have changed over time.

Data use agreement associated with PUF:

Note: This file does not include any information that identifies individual practitioners or reporting entities. The file is designed to provide data for statistical reporting and analysis only.

Federal law (42 U.S.C. § 11137(b)) requires HRSA to present the data in this file in a form that does not permit use of the data alone, or in combination with other available information, to identify any particular health care entity, physician, other health care practitioner, or patient. Therefore, as a condition of obtaining access to the data, users agree to:

Not use the dataset alone or in combination with other data to identify any individual or entity or otherwise link information from this file with information in another dataset in a manner that includes the identity of an individual or entity; Upon the request of HRSA, return, delete or otherwise permanently dispose of all copies of the data in the dataset that are in their possession; and, Not repost the dataset and only report, disclose or post data from the dataset in connection with statistical reporting or analysis that does not identify any individual or entity. By using these data, you signify your agreement to comply with the conditions stated above. Continued access to these data is dependent upon compliance with such conditions.

Specifications

  • Fields: _______
  • Update frequency: _______
  • Joins between datasets: _______
  • Lag time: _______
  • History: _______
  • Delivery mechanism: _______


Solution

The NPDB data analysis tool was developed to allow users to do a high-level analysis of the data in the NPDB PUF; if a user wants to do a more detailed analysis, they can download the PUF. NPDB data must not be used in conjunction with another dataset in attempts to identify individuals.

The NPDB help team will respond to emails within one day and do calls with users to help with analysis questions or assistance with using the PUF: http://www.npdb.hrsa.gov/topNavigation/contactUs.jsp

In addition, the NPDB would like to hear from users as to how to improve the data analysis tool. However, decisions on what to implement in the data analysis tool must take into consideration federal law, which prohibits HRSA from releasing the data in a way that might identify any particular health care entity, physician, other health care practitioner, or patient.

Short term workaround

  • ___

Long term implementation

  • ___