Frequently Asked Questions About NOMS: Health Care Component
What is the purpose of NOMS?
The purpose of NOMS is to collect aggregated national outcomes data in order to assist ASHA members as well as the Association in demonstrating the effectiveness of speech-language pathology and audiology services. For more information about NOMS development and the financial and nonfinancial relationships of individuals who developed or modified the NOMS self-study trainings (i.e., NOMS Adult User Training, NOMS Pre-Kindergarten User Training), please view the disclosure statement.
What is the cost to participate in NOMS data collection?
NOMS is a member benefit and there are no additional costs for participation. In exchange for submitting data to ASHA, your facility will have access to data reports profiling your organization against national data, and if applicable, system data. Facilities may also run customized analyses of their data, as well as national data, using our Web-based reporting system.
How can I participate in NOMS data collection?
Organizations may choose to participate in the Pre-Kindergarten and/or the Adult Health Care Component(s) in one of two ways—
- As an individual facility— All speech-language pathologists must be members of ASHA
- As a group of facilities in a healthcare system — At least 75% of staff must be members of ASHA; however, all SLPs must be ASHA certified.
How do I register for NOMS?
First gain the approval of your healthcare organization or system. Next complete the NOMS registration which identifies the NOMS component(s) your organization chooses to participate in and provides ASHA with the necessary information about our healthcare organization and clinicians. Additionally, the registration includes a Letter of Agreement outlining the terms of NOMS data collection and the agreed upon commitment between ASHA and your organization. Only one registration needs to be submitted for the healthcare organization or system. Individual SLPs do not need to submit a separate registration and the Subscriber or Administrator will be asked to sign a Letter of Agreement stating that you have authority/permission to release the data to ASHA for purposes of advocating for the profession on behalf of your organization or system.
What are the responsibilities of a NOMS Subscriber?
A Subscriber, often an administrator or designee, is the liaison between ASHA and the organization that is collecting the NOMS data. The Subscriber must be an ASHA member and obtain any necessary approvals from the organization prior to participation in NOMS. The responsibilities of the Subscriber are to coordinate the training process, to ensure that all staff become Registered NOMS Users, as well as to inform ASHA of any organizational changes affecting NOMS data collection, including the addition or elimination of programs or staffing changes. The Subscriber must also ensure that all applicable patients are included in the NOMS data collection with regular submission of NOMS data to ASHA.
Who is a Registered NOMS User?
A Registered NOMS User is an ASHA member or Clinical Fellow who successfully completes the User Registration Test. All speech-language pathologists who will be collecting NOMS data for a facility or organization must become Registered NOMS Users by completing the self-study training program and individually taking the User Registration Test.
What is required for staff training?
Each clinician will be granted access to the Web-based NOMS training, which is designed as a self-study program. The NOMS training provides an overview of the data collection procedures and includes a User Registration Test that each participating clinician must successfully pass to ensure the integrity of the data reported to ASHA. Some of the larger departments currently participating in NOMS have reported that the staff has reviewed the training materials and discussed the contents as a group to prepare for the User Registration Test. Other groups have left the training up to the individual clinicians. Regardless of the training format, each clinician must review the materials and individually take the User Registration Test. Clinicians may earn 0.2 ASHA CEUs for successfully completing the training to become a Registered NOMS User.
How much time is required for data collection?
Clinicians are asked to collect data at two junctures, when speech and language intervention is initiated, and again when it is discontinued. Data collection takes only a few minutes per patient and includes easily accessible information that is already a part of the patient's record.
How do we submit NOMS data?
All NOMS data will be submitted via our secured online data collection and reporting tool. Clinicians will be granted access to the web site once they have become registered NOMS users.
Must all staff participate in data collection?
Yes. 100% participation is necessary. In order for you to obtain meaningful data, outcomes information must be collected on all patients within any program that is participating in NOMS. It is, however, not necessary that all programs at a single facility be included in the data collection. For example, an organization may decide to collect data on inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient and home health patients, but not on acute care patients. That is acceptable as long as all of the staff meeting the registration requirements collect data on all of their patients in each of those designated programs.
What volume of patients must an organization generate in order to participate in NOMS?
There is no minimum number of patients needed to subscribe to NOMS; however, all patients within a participating program must be included in the data collection. The number of patients is not important. However, the larger the patient database, the more reflective the outcomes will be of your practice. We recommend that the analysis of any data containing small sample sizes be used cautiously in order to protect the confidentiality of the patients and to ensure the integrity of the data. If a speech-language pathologist is in a solo private practice, it may take longer to build this database, but the outcomes information will still be useful in shaping clinical practice.
De we need to begin participating in NOMS by any specific date?
No. NOMS is an ongoing database, therefore, you can begin participating at any time that best meets the needs of your organization. However, we ask that you complete the training and begin data collection within 90 days of your organization's registration. You may choose to begin collecting the data in a few programs and then gradually introduce additional programs, as you deem appropriate.
What length of commitment must an organization make in order to subscribe to NOMS?
Data will not be beneficial to an organization unless they make a commitment of at least one year. However, we hope an organization will continue to collect data on an ongoing basis because this will provide the most useful information about trends, clinical practice, and changes in the industry.
Do we need to obtain our Institutional Review Board's approval or notify the patients and their families before we can participate in NOMS?
It depends on the policy of your organization. However, this has not been necessary for most organizations. ASHA is not asking you to withhold or change treatment intervention in any way, nor is ASHA asking for data that will allow us to identify individual patients (i.e. name, date of birth, etc). Rather, you are being asked to centralize data that are already a part of the patient record.
Additionally, all of the data elements collected in NOMS are de-identified and not considered to be protected health information in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. Each patient entered into NOMS is assigned a computer-generated patient record number and ASHA will have no way of identifying individual patients. Confidentiality of the data will be maintained.
Can university clinics participate in NOMS?
At this time, data from university graduate programs are not included in ASHA's national registry. However, university programs can incorporate NOMS data collection and ASHA's Functional Communication Measures into their curriculum for the purpose of understanding NOMS and the importance of outcomes data. View the University Clinic Registration Form [PDF].
Should any population be excluded from the data collection?
At this time, the Functional Communication Measures (FCMs) have not been adequately designed to meet the needs of patients seen for an evaluation only, adults with developmental disabilities, or children with only voice or fluency disorders. In the future, we hope to address the needs of these populations.
Can we use the Adult FCMs with adolescents?
The Adult FCMs have been designed for persons 16 years of age or older who receive speech and language intervention for an acquired cognitive-communication and/or swallowing disorder.
Do we need to use any specific tests or protocols besides the Functional Communication Measures (FCMs) to participate in NOMS?
No. The FCMs are functional descriptions of a patient's communication and/or swallowing abilities and are not dependent upon administration of any specific assessment tools, method of intervention, or therapeutic techniques.
Will NOMS be able to track patients along the continuum of care?
Yes. However, the outcomes and changes in functional communication and/or swallowing abilities within individual programs need to be determined first in order to reflect the benefits of speech and language intervention at each level of care. In order to be able to link across the continuum of care, patients will need to maintain the same identification number at each level of care. This is certainly not a requirement to participate in NOMS, but it will be helpful at such times as we are able to analyze data across the continuum of care.
For more information about the Adult NOMS component, please contact Tobi Frymark at 301-296-8736 or TFrymark@asha.org. For the Pre-Kindergarten component, contact Tracy Schooling at 301-296-8741 or TSchooling@asha.org.