Overcoming problems with NPI data and presenting the users with the most accurate information with Point Health
The Point Health team was using the National Provider Identifier (NPI) database for providing results for searches for providers and facilities but we were finding lots of errors in the data. We were seeing:
- Providers listed that are no longer practicing
- Facility addresses that were down the street
- Facilities listing services that they didn't preform
- Inconsistent naming
Our team wanted a non-technical way for our Project Managers, Advocates, and potentially providers themselves to update information on an NPI number. We wanted our database to be as accurate as possible so that we weren't misleading users to practitioners or facilities that had false information.
One early assumption that the team had was that we would be able to collect user data issues. When people arrived at a provider or facility in the app with inaccurate data, they suggested a change.
To test this out I interviewed several people who had made corrections on other major applications. These people had identified errors in places like Google Maps, Yelp, Wikipedia. We walked through how they made submitted a suggestion and what they were feeling along the way during the interview.
We learned that the driving force behind their contributions was altruism, they wanted to make the system better for the next person. Many of the people contributing to corrections didn't know if the suggestions they submitted got accepted. The good feelings all came from the moment they decided to help the community. We decided that for the first version, we would cater issues to just our team. With the interviews in mind, we thought that building enough of a community feeling around the medical data would take a large amount of effort.