Patient ID Matching: Finding John Doe
Equifax VP of Healthcare Strategy and Business Development, Michael Nelson, was recently quoted in Journal of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), a leading healthcare professional association, discussing solutions to help improve patient ID matching. Nelson discusses how identity matching is solved in other industries that have multiple interactions with consumers – such as financial services or telecommunications. Industry best practice is to create a master key that is used to verify a consumer’s identify against validated data and then to continue to identify that person in subsequent transactions.
The first of those value propositions is that the data match key can be a more heavily weighted attribute in the matching algorithms of the EMPI, which would create more accurate matches and reduce the number of duplicate records created. The second value proposition…is that the data match key can be used to match patient records across one or more unaffiliated organizations.
This type of solution for patient ID matching helps healthcare organizations:
- Improve patient safety with more accurate linkage of a patient’s medical records across multiple settings for a more complete electronic health record for a patient
- Reduce costs for resolving inaccurate patient health records by helping minimize the creation of new duplicate medical records and medical record overlays
- Better comply with regulations by facilitating sharing of information through health information exchange
By evaluating a healthcare organization’s patient information using current and historical names and addresses for individuals, patient ID matching services identify patient records belonging to the same patient that typically cannot be combined using traditional MPI matching algorithms. In addition to identifying potential duplicate patient records, assigning a unique patient key to each patient assists in preventing duplicate health records in the future.
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