Learn more about the data submission application and recommended best practices for submitting data.

MIRCal Video Training#

These videos are a step-by-step course on how to submit your Inpatient, Emergency Department, or Ambulatory Surgery data to OSHPD through the Medical Information Reporting for California (MIRCal) system. We recommend that you take this training in order to become familiar with navigating through the system.

Video 1 – MIRCal Basics for all Users (Transcript)

Video 2 – Submitting a File (Transcript)

Video 3 – Entering and Submitting Manual Records (Transcript)

Video 4 – Edit Programs – Overview (Transcript)

Video 5 – Making Data Corrections (Transcript)

Video 6 – Reviewing the Data Distribution Report (Transcript)

Video 7 – User Account Administrators (Transcript)

Video 8 – Designated Agents (Transcript)

Best Practices#

Review your DDR: Compare Past and Present#

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 data review. 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 submissions three months in advance of each due date. For Emergency Department data reporting and Ambulatory Surgery data reporting, MIRCal is open for report submissions 45 days in advance of each due date. Working on your data submissions early in the report period minimizes wait times for assistance. It is also advised to plan accordingly for the Variant Action Request (VAR) process, which may take up to five business days to complete. See the VAR article in Quick Notes issue 52 for further information.

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 erroneous data and should be reviewed every report period. Upon Formal submission, it is assumed Warning Flags were reviewed for accuracy (Title 22, Division 7, Chapter 10, Article 8, Section 97246, subdivision (a)).

Patients Review Their Demographic Data Every Visit#

Preferred Language Spoken, Race, Ethnicity, Social Security Number, Sex, Date of Birth, and ZIP Code data quality is most accurate when self-reported by the patient. Patients should review and confirm their data in subsequent visits to support data quality. There may be cases where family members or care providers declare on the patient’s behalf. OSHPD has developed a brochure (English | Spanish) which can be distributed to help in answering patient questions about reporting their personal data.

Be Knowledgeable About How Data Is Used#

Train staff throughout your facility on how the data is used. An excellent resource is the California Health and Human Services Open Data Portal, which includes a table of Approved Research Projects which may be using your facility’s data.

Make Zero Errors a Goal#

The California data that you report is used worldwide. There are many facilities that work diligently to correct errors well below the 2% error tolerance level on a routine basis. Review the Quick Notes bulletins frequently for information and tips on data correction.

View MIRCal Video Training#

The MIRCal Video Training series is available on OSHPD’s YouTube channel. It can be beneficial to view the videos to confirm your knowledge when assisting other staff with data submissions. Advise facility staff to take the training so that they are familiar with  MIRCal’s components, functions, and requirements.

Excellence in Action#

  • Work closely with admissions staff and keep them informed of accurate reporting and adherence to regulatory requirements.
  • Ensure training for contract coders.
  • Plan ahead for software conversions and review closely for adherence to OSHPD requirements.