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Frequently Asked Questions About NOMS Participation

What is the purpose of NOMS?

The purpose of NOMS is to collect aggregated national outcomes data in order to assist ASHA members and ASHA in demonstrating the effectiveness of audiology and speech-language pathology services. 

Is NOMS data collection secure?

Yes. The NOMS data collection system has security measures in place in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Data submitted to NOMS are encrypted both in transit and at rest using the latest security protocols. In addition, each individual whose information you enter into NOMS is assigned a computer-generated record number, and ASHA will have no way of identifying individual patients.

Can I use the NOMS scales (ASHA's Functional Communication Measures) without participating in data collection?

No. The NOMS data collection tool and Functional Communication Measures (FCMs) are for NOMS participants only. The FCMs are copyrighted for exclusive use in NOMS SLP data collection. In exchange for participation in NOMS and submission of data, users have access to comparative data reports for benchmarking purposes. 

What is the cost to participate in NOMS data collection?

NOMS is a member benefit, and there are no additional costs for participation. However, organizations must register to participate and enter into a an agreement with a commitment to submit data to ASHA. In exchange for submitting data to ASHA, you will have access to the web-based data collection tool, the FCMs, and customized data reports profiling your organization against national data and, if applicable, system data.

How can I participate in NOMS data collection?

Participation in NOMS is typically at the organizational level. If your organization is already registered for NOMS, contact your NOMS subscriber to be added as a NOMS participant. To determine whether your organization is already registered or to find out who serves as the subscriber for your organization, contact NOMS@asha.org. You may also register for NOMS as an individual if you are unable to gain the support of your administration or if you provide services through a private practice.

How do I register for NOMS?

See the How to Register for NOMS page.

What are the responsibilities of a NOMS Subscriber?

The subscriber, often an administrator or designee, is the liaison between ASHA and your organization. The subscriber must be an ASHA Certified Member and must obtain any necessary approvals from your organization prior to participation in NOMS. The subscriber is responsible for all of the following tasks:

  • Maintaining an accurate and up-to-date list of participants and facilities for your organization
  • Ensuring the timely initiation and maintenance of data collection for your organization
  • Informing ASHA of any organizational changes that affect NOMS data collection
  • Ensuring that clinicians submit patient data on all eligible patients
  • Resolving compliance issues in a timely manner

Who can participate in NOMS?

For the SLP Registry, only ASHA Certified Members are eligible to submit data to NOMS. Non-clinicians and clinicians can also participate in NOMS through the clinician proxy and subscriber proxy roles. All NOMS participants must be registered with a participating organization in order to use the NOMS data collection tool and the FCMs.

Can Clinical Fellows participate in NOMS?

No. Clinical Fellows are not eligible for NOMS. Clinicians can participate in NOMS upon completion of the Clinical Fellowship experience and after receiving ASHA certification.

What is required for staff training?

We require all clinicians to review the NOMS Clinician User Guide before beginning data collection. You can access the Clinician User Guide by logging in to the NOMS data collection tool. Upon logging in, click the NOMS User Guide link located at the bottom of the left-hand menu. The Clinician User Guide outlines the following:

  • Patient eligibility
  • How to submit patient data
  • Functional Communication Measure (FCM) scoring guidelines and interpretation
  • Patient Reported Outcome (PRO) scoring guidelines and interpretation

How much time is required for data collection?

For the SLP Registry, we ask clinicians 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 part of the speech and language record.

How do I submit NOMS data?

See the How to Submit Data to NOMS page.

Are all staff required to participate in data collection?

To obtain meaningful data, you must collect outcomes information on all eligible patients; however, it is not necessary to have all programs at a single facility participate in data collection. For example, an organization may decide to collect data from patients in inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient, and home health settings but not include acute-care treatment. That is acceptable provided that all of the staff members meeting the registration requirements collect data on all their patients in each of those designated programs.

Is there a minimum number of data submissions required to participate in NOMS?

No. However, all eligible patients within a participating program must be included in the data collection. The number of records submitted is not important, but we do require that organizations submit patient data at least once a month. In addition, the larger the database, the more reflective the outcomes will be of your practice. We recommend that organizations exercise caution when analyzing any data containing small sample sizes. If a clinician 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.

Once we register, do we need to begin submitting data to NOMS by any specific date?

Yes. We ask that clinicians review the NOMS Clinician User Guide 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.

Is there a minimum length of commitment to participate in NOMS?

Yes. Organizations sign an agreement committing to a minimum of one year of participation in NOMS. However, we hope that you will continue to collect data on an ongoing basis. Continued participation provides your organization and us 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 our patients and their families before we can participate in NOMS?

It depends on your organization’s policy, but this has not been necessary for most organizations. We are not asking you to withhold or change treatment intervention in any way, nor are we asking for data that will allow us to identify individual patients (i.e., name, date of birth, etc.). We are asking you to centralize data that are already a part of the speech and language record.

In addition, all the data elements collected in NOMS are de-identified and securely encrypted in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. Each individual whose information you enter into NOMS is assigned a computer-generated record number, and ASHA will have no way of identifying individual patients. Confidentiality and security of the data will be maintained.

Can university clinics participate in NOMS?

Yes. University clinics can register to participate in NOMS by following the steps outlined on the registration page. Only ASHA Certified Members at your clinic will be eligible to submit patient data for your university clinic.

Should we exclude any population from data collection?

At this time, the FCMs have not been adequately designed to meet the needs of patients/clients seen for an evaluation only or children ages birth to 3 years. In the future, we hope to address the needs of these and other populations. Please contact NOMS@asha.org with any questions.

Do we need to use any specific tests or protocols besides the FCMs to participate in NOMS?

No. The FCMs are functional descriptions of an individual’s communication and/or swallowing abilities and are not dependent upon the administration of any specific assessment tools, method of intervention, or therapeutic techniques.

Can international affiliates participate in NOMS?

No. We developed the NOMS tool and its proprietary scales, the FCMs, specifically for measuring the functional outcomes of individuals receiving speech-language pathology treatment within U.S. health care systems, which are very different from international health care systems. At this time, only ASHA Certified Members who are linked to a participating organization within the United States have access to NOMS.

Please contact NOMS@asha.org with any questions.

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