A centralized data hub of physician profiles is in the works through an information-sharing company called Data Commons, a joint venture of leading organizations in medical education, licensure and certification. When it launches its product this fall, it will pull together all the publicly available information on a doctor from an array of sources.
To do so, it will use the Healthcare Professional Profile from MedBiquitous, a nonprofit standards development organization created at Johns Hopkins University.
"The transferability of data across platforms is essential for the success of Data Commons," Data Commons Board Chair James Stockman, MD said of the MedBiquitous profile in an announcement. The Healthcare Professional Profile provides a unifying language for credentials data ranging from merely name and address to education, certification, licensure, and more.
Up to now, those looking to check out a doctor had to go to multiple sources. For instance, the American Board of Medical Specialties collects information on specialty certification from its member boards, the Federation of State Medical Boards collects information on licensure from state boards, and the Association of American Colleges has information on medical education. But even the American Medical Association Masterfile doesn't provide a complete picture--it doesn't include information on restrictions on medical licenses, according to InformationWeek.
The omission of malpractice data from doctor profiles on state-run consumer websites has been an issue in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in April announced plans to combine two databanks that track questionable physician practices. That plan will include new requirements that each state establish a system for reporting licensure and certification actions taken against providers.
In addition to helping healthcare organizations in hiring, Data Commons is expected to aid doctors who have to collect all their information for specialty certification or recertification.