By Oniel Delva and Michelle Barry
On June 14, 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) embarked on a new leg in its journey to advance the timeliness and accuracy of data for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) beneficiaries by implementing the national release of CROWNWeb—a Web-based data-collection system designed to assist with improving patient care outcomes by reducing the time it takes Medicare-certified dialysis facilities to report and analyze essential treatment data.
Currently, in the early stages of its national launch, CROWNWeb allows the renal community to transition from the historic paper-based data processing methods to an electronic, “always-on” format that collects and reports real-time data.
The system expedites the reporting process by enabling all Medicare-certified dialysis facilities to submit their administrative and clinical data directly to CMS via a secured Web-based system accessible using Internet Explorer.
CROWNWeb was initially released on February 2009 to a select group of dialysis facilities, and has been enhanced and modified since its inception based on feedback from the renal community, as well as in an effort to meet federal standards for information management systems.
Prior to the national rollout, CMS gave early users an opportunity to share details regarding their experience and help improve its usability during three “phased-in” releases.
The release that proved to be most critical to CROWNWeb’s national implementation was the system’s Phase III Pilot. The pilot introduced a number of enhancements, modifications, and new functionality to CROWNWeb. Furthermore, the pilot gave CMS and its users an opportunity to test:
- Enhanced security requirements
- The usability of CROWNWeb’s new user interface
- The content and workflow in CROWNWeb’s data submission areas
- Proof-of-concept of the National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA) Heath Information Exchange (HIE).