NOMS Integration Eases Clinicians’ Reporting Burden Facilities that participate in ASHA’s National Outcomes Measurement System can add outcomes reporting to existing electronic documentation systems. On the Pulse
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On the Pulse  |   June 01, 2016
NOMS Integration Eases Clinicians’ Reporting Burden
Author Notes
  • Tobi Frymark, MA, CCC-SLP, is associate director of ASHA’s National Center for Evidence-Based Practice. tfrymark@asha.org
    Tobi Frymark, MA, CCC-SLP, is associate director of ASHA’s National Center for Evidence-Based Practice. tfrymark@asha.org×
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / ASHA News & Member Stories / On the Pulse
On the Pulse   |   June 01, 2016
NOMS Integration Eases Clinicians’ Reporting Burden
The ASHA Leader, June 2016, Vol. 21, 40-41. doi:10.1044/leader.OTP.21062016.40
The ASHA Leader, June 2016, Vol. 21, 40-41. doi:10.1044/leader.OTP.21062016.40
What treatments work best for which patients? Finding answers to that and other outcomes-related questions—one of ASHA’s primary objectives—will provide critical information for clinicians, patients, and private and public health care plans.
ASHA relies on clinicians to contribute outcomes data, and doing so just got easier. Facilities that report data to NOMS—ASHA’s National Outcomes Measurement System—now have the option of building NOMS reporting into their internal electronic documentation systems, eliminating the need for clinicians to submit the data separately.
NOMS is a voluntary data collection system developed to illustrate the value of speech-language pathology services. Speech-language pathologists working in health care or schools can register their organization in NOMS to become a participating data-collection site.
SLPs at sites with electronic documentation systems that integrate the NOMS data-collection tool can enter NOMS data when they complete their internal documentation. The data are automatically pulled from the system and transmitted to ASHA.

“Now that our data are automatically pulled and sent to ASHA, our data reports are richer. The integration has increased the accuracy of our reporting and gives us a better statistical analysis of our data.”

Partners Healthcare—a non-profit integrated health system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital that includes two academic medical centers, community and specialty hospitals, a managed care organization, community health centers, a physician network and home health and long-term care services—is integrating NOMS into its current Epic Systems Corporation documentation system.
SLP Carmen Vega-Barachowitz, the NOMS subscriber for Partners Healthcare, saw the systems integration as an opportunity to expand data collection across the company’s continuum of care, from acute to home health.
“Partners was aware that having NOMS as part of our electronic documentation is critical for us as SLPs,” says Vega-Barachowitz, director of speech, language and swallowing disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital. “It allows us to gather NOMS data on patients from beginning of treatment to discharge, regardless of setting, and allows clinicians to enter the data without added burden.”
To integrate the programs, the NOMS-participating organization enters into a database license agreement with ASHA that allows incorporation of NOMS into its internal documentation system. ASHA then provides the file and instructions for the customization, and works with the organization to test the system before going live.
ASHA is also working with select practice-management software vendors to integrate NOMS reporting into their speech-language pathology documentation programs, which can then be used by subscribing facilities. There is no charge for the integration.

“Having NOMS as part of our electronic documentation is critical for us as SLPs. It allows us to gather NOMS data on patients from beginning of treatment to discharge, regardless of setting, and allows clinicians to enter the data without added burden.”

The first software vendor to incorporate NOMS is Optima Healthcare Solutions, based in Palm City, Florida. It successfully built NOMS into Rehab Optima, its speech-language pathology documentation software, and is now transmitting data to ASHA for its customers.
Optima wanted to pilot the program to create standardized reporting methods to enhance data validity, create a logical workflow for capturing speech-language pathology outcomes data, and increase efficiency by eliminating an extra data-entry process, according to Rita Cole, Optima Healthcare Solutions clinical director.
“We worked collaboratively with ASHA and four pilot sites to ensure consistency with the current NOMS reporting structure and alleviate transitional inconvenience for users,” Cole says. “The pilot sites provided valuable feedback to ASHA and the Optima team that, in the end, improved both the process and reporting structure itself.”
Pilot sites report positive experiences with the integration, which is now available to any registered NOMS facility that uses the Optima software. “Now that our data are automatically pulled from Rehab Optima and sent to ASHA, our data reports are richer,” says Tamala Sammons, an SLP who is the NOMS subscriber for Ensign Services, one of Optima’s pilot users. “The integration has increased the accuracy of our reporting and gives us a better statistical analysis of our data.”
ASHA streamlined the NOMS web-based data collection process in 2014. These enhancements, along with the new option of electronic data transmission, are intended to provide greater flexibility and convenience to NOMS users.
To learn more or obtain a database license agreement for electronic data submission, visit www.asha.org/NOMS.
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June 2016
Volume 21, Issue 6