MIRCal – Best Practices

Review your DDR

Your Data Distribution Report (DDR) is a summary report that displays each data element and lists the numerical and percentage breakdown of records within each data element category, including blank and invalid data. It is a beneficial tool both during the editing process, to review prior to formal submission for unusual distribution of data, and for administrative knowledge after formal data approval. Once data has been standardized, similar summary reports are available to the public.

During your editing process, use your current and historical DDRs in conjunction with your Trend or Comparative Edit Summary Report to aid in your review of data. Data Distribution Reports are found on MIRCal's 'Error Reports and Corrections' page. Choose 'View' on the Data Distribution Report row listed under Informational Reports.

Submit Early in the Report Period

Beginning your data submission well in advance of the due date provides ample time to make data corrections and helps to minimize the worry of unforeseen data issues. For Inpatient data reporting, MIRCal is open for report submission three months in advance of each due date. For Emergency Department data reporting and Ambulatory Surgery data reporting, MIRCal is open for report submission 45 days in advance of each due date. Working on your data submissions early in the report period minimizes the peak wait and demand time for assistance from MIRCal analysts as each due date approaches.

Check your Warning flags

Any flags with a "W" are Warning Non-Critical Flags. It is important to review your Warning Flags to determine if errors exist in your data in these categories. Warning flags are excluded from the Error Tolerance Level (ETL) calculation but can identify faulty data and should be reviewed every report period. Upon Formal submission it is assumed Warning Flags were reviewed for accuracy (Section 97246).

Patients Review Their Demographic Data Every Visit

Preferred Language Spoken, Race, Ethnicity, Social Security Number, Sex, Date of Birth, and ZIP Code data should be self-reported by the patient, and then reviewed and confirmed by patients in subsequent visits to support data quality and improve upon missing data. There may be cases where family members or care providers declare on the patient's behalf. OSHPD has developed a brochure (English | Spanish) that healthcare facilities may find helpful in answering patient questions about reporting their personal data.

Excellence in Action

A Quick Notes issue 29 article includes the following guidance from facilities around California:

  • Submit early.
  • Correcting to zero errors is a goal.
  • Work closely with admissions staff and keep them informed of accurate reporting.
  • Ensure training for contract coders.
  • Equip staff throughout your facility with knowledge on how data is used.
  • Plan ahead for software conversions and review closely for adherence to OSHPD requirements.

This page was last updated on Tuesday, December 27, 2016.

MIRCal Featured Pages

Information on Hospital Inpatient Discharge Data Collection.       Information on Emergency Department Data Collection      Information on Ambulatory Surgery Data Collection.


  • Review your DDR
  • Latest Quick Notes
  • Reminder: Submit Early!