Tips for Collecting 30-Day Follow-Up Data

Below are suggestions from data managers to help you track patient status.

  1. Maintain a spreadsheet.
  2. Use the electronic health record to look for proof of life (e.g., readmission, lab results, other diagnostic testing).
  3. Coordinate with other departments in your organization (e.g., Cardiac Rehabilitation, Coumadin Clinic, Cancer Registry) to determine contacts made on or after 30 days post-surgery.
  4. Contact home care provider for patients receiving home care services.
  5. Contact the surgeon’s office.
  6. In the case of transfers, contact the facility to which the patient was transferred.
  7. Contact the patient’s primary care or referring physician office.
  8. Call the patient/family on or after 30 days post-surgery. 
  9. Capture the patient’s e-mail address upon admission and send a note to the patient at 30 days post-surgery.
  10. Use information from the Social Security Death Master File, obituary listings, or National Death Index as proof of death; however, absence of names in these sources is not considered proof of life.