Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) Improving Data and Enhancing Access Project (IDEA - NW)
Improving Data and Enhancing Access - Northwest (IDEA-NW)
American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) are often misclassified as another (or missing) race in vital records, hospital discharge records, disease registries, and other public health datasets. In the Northwest, misclassification of AI/AN race can range between 30-60%. As a result, the true burden of disease and mortality among AI/ANs is often underestimated. Such inaccuracies can seriously impair public health decision-making and the appropriate allocation of disease control resources. Furthermore, most tribes lack local-level data on the rates and distribution of health events in their populations, which limits their ability to allocate resources to areas of greatest need.
The IDEA-NW Project aims to address these shortcomings by reducing misclassification of AI/AN race in public health data systems in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. We correct inaccurate race data by linking a registry of known AI/AN individuals (the Northwest AI/AN registry) with state-level hospital discharge systems, trauma registries, cancer registries, vital statistics, and STD/HIV systems. After correcting misclassified race information at the record level, we analyze and disseminate aggregate AI/AN health status data in ways that are locally meaningful for tribal health planning. We repeat linkages with state-level data systems at regular intervals to track health trends and data quality over time.
IDEA-NW works with the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and serves all 43 federally-recognized tribes in the Northwest. We also partner with organizations that serve urban AI/AN populations in the Northwest, and disseminate our tools and resources to other states and Tribal EpiCenters.
EHR/EMR System or Vendor
Electronic Health/Medical Records (EHR or EMR), Patient Registries
Locations of Focus
Oregon, Washington, and Idaho
Population Network Size
Approximately 230,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives live in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho (CDC National Center for Health Statistics Bridge-Race estimate, 2009). The Northwest AI/AN registry represents approximately 84% of this population.
Portland Area Indian Health Service, Seattle Indian Health Board, Oregon Health Authority, Washington Department of Health, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
CER/PCOR Study Priority Populations
Outcome(s) of Interest
-Improved validity and reliability of AI/AN race data in state health data systems
-Increased availability of accurate health status data for Northwest tribal communities
Acknowledgement of Funders
IDEA-NW is supported by grant number R01HS019972 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, current funding 9/30/2010—9/29/2013, and by grant number AIAMP120012 from the Office of Minority Health, current funding 9/1/2012—8/31/2017.