Healthcare Workforce Data Collection
In order to understand and address the state’s healthcare workforce
needs, we must increase the capacity to analyze the state’s workforce
with collection of high quality data…
(Montana Healthcare Workforce—Statewide Strategic Plan)
Data needs are becoming more urgent: existing providers are retiring;
aging populations utilize higher levels of care; healthcare reform will add
significant numbers of individuals to the healthcare mix; and new models
of healthcare (i.e. patient-centered medical home) will require additional
workforce members such as care coordinators and community health
workers. How do we best determine and address our needs when we
don’t have reliable and consistent data to tell us who, how much and
There is a compelling need for consistent data collection at the state and
national level. Data is collected but information is quite variable (i.e.
MMA data shows 294 Internal Medicine physicians for 2010, while
licensure data (DOLI) indicates 288 and BLS-OES indicates 90 Internal
Medicine Physicians). Inconsistencies among data resources make
comparisons challenging. We need reliable data on who is providing
care, what are they doing and where are they doing it.
How does data collection benefit Montana?
 Compare Montana to other states with respect to supply and
distribution of healthcare workers
 Better identify underserved areas within the state
 Evidence based information to guide state policy develop
 Data to guide education investments and enrollment decisions
 Information to support funding applications
Minimum Data Sets (MDS) are being developed at the
National level through HRSA
Basic information, consistent questions, number of questions
kept to a minimum
Focused on supply and demand of the workforce
Offers comparable data across healthcare professions, across
locations and over time
State licensure boards are uniquely suited to collect valuable
information at time of license renewal--a very cost effective
approach to collecting much needed data
At the state level
Massachusetts: collects MDS for seven health professions
Nevada: MDS development project
Pennsylvania: MDS for nursing, looking to add more healthcare
Virginia: 14 surveys are being developed and standardized
New Mexico: has mandated data collection at time of licensure
At the National level
National council of state boards of nursing has recommended
MDS for supply, demand and education institutions
Federation of state medical boards recommended a framework
for minimal physician data set
Physician Assistants: MDS questions utilized in professional
Pharmacy: implementation of MDS in summer of 2012
•licensure status (active or inactive) currently provided by state boards;
•date of birth - currently provided by state
•medical school graduated and year of
graduation - currently provided by state
•specialty and subspecialty board
certification [this can be obtained from
certification groups]
•employment status [seeks to distinguish
between retired and licensed from those
with inactive license. What may be more
helpful for knowing about access to
primary care is knowing if a doctor is
employed as a hospitalist and therefore
not available to see patients generally].
•does physician provide clinical or patient
care. [Does not necessarily separate out
•areas of practice [easiest approach would
be check-off.]
•practice settings [solo, partnership, single
specialty, multiple specialty group,
hospital, etc.]
•number of weeks worked during past
year and average number of hours
worked by activity
•clinical locations [may be in more than
one location, recommended to obtain by
hours per site]
•hours per week providing patient care by
The National Nursing Workforce Minimum Dataset
Federation of State Medical Boards suggestions
Current information for Montana Board of Medical Examiners
•Business Name and Address
•Home Address
•Intent to practice in
Montana: yes (attach brief
explanation) or no.
•Questions 12 through 34
related to previous licensure,
denials, criminal charges,
addiction diagnoses, and use
of alcohol "or any other
mood-altering substance in a
manner which may have or
has adversely affected your
ability to practice this
•Undergraduate Education
•Medical School
•Postgraduate Training
•Fifth Pathway Program
•Exam taken for initial
•Ever been certified by a
specialty board - which ones?
[The question does not ask
for current Certification, but
it does ask if there was denial
of or failure to pass a
specialty certification exam or
portion of exam.]
•Practice history
•Professional and character
•Year of birth
•Entry level education
•Highest level of education
•License type
•Year of initial US licensure
•Country of initial RN/LPN
•License status
•Advanced practice nurse
•Employment status
•Reason for being unemployed
•Number of positions employed
•Hours worked per week
•Employers address
•employment setting hospital,
home health, correctional
facility, etc.)
•employment position (staff
nurse, nurse manager, advanced
practice nurse, etc.)
•employment specialty
(acute/critical care, community,
med/surg, etc.)

Healthcare Workforce Data Collection