PERSPECTIVES

Finding a solution for patient identification and matching

Patient identification and matching (PIM) errors remain one of healthcare’s most systemic problems, with consequences ranging from administrative annoyances to serious injuries and even death.

The road toward a better system is pockmarked with obstacles and uncertainty, but one of the most powerful characteristics of the healthcare community is the ability to come together as fierce advocates and bold thinkers to tackle even the most intractable problems with empathy, creativity, and intelligence.

AHIMA recognizes that eliminating PIM errors is essential to achieve healthcare’s primary goals—enhanced patient safety, advanced interoperability, and improved patient outcomes.

We are part of a robust community of health information management professionals dedicated to exploring the opportunities and challenges of PIM: the arguments for and against the creation of a unique patient identifier, measuring the sustainability of current PIM methods, exploring the work of advocates and government to solve patient misidentification, and highlighting proven use cases that HIM teams can adapt and apply in their own healthcare settings.

The ability to properly identify individuals is imperative to patient safety advancing interoperability across healthcare ecosystem, and improved patient outcomes.

HIM professionals have the expertise and knowledge relating to the people, process and technology used to identify and match patients to their health information while maintaining a low duplicate record error rate in their facilities.

Our goal is to ensure accurate health information exchange, enhanced patient safety, and achievement of better patient outcomes.

Join us in advocating for accurate patient identification and matching: View the history of Patient Identification and let your voice be heard through the AHIMA’s Advocacy and Public Policy Center. And you won’t want to miss the new white paper in which AHIMA recommends a cycle approach to achieve a 1% duplicate record error rate.

AHIMA is also a founding member of the new Patient ID Now coalition. Read more about the coalition here and make sure to read their July 2020 press release about progress Congress is making on this issue. Finally, read AHIMA’s new policy statement on patient matching.

Content and Resources

Why Patient Identity Management is Critical for COVID-19 Surveillance | By Dan Cidon

Who Are You? The Quest for a Unique Patient Identifier | By Mary Butler

Journal of AHIMA: Patient identification and matching errors are both chronic and preventable. Why can’t healthcare build a safer system?

Health Information Management at Cook County Jail

Podcast: HIM Director Linda C. Kampe discusses her experiences safeguarding the health information of Cook County Jail’s inmate population.

How Inclusive Is Your Data: Transgender Patients, Identity, and EHRs

Podcast: AHIMA HIM Director of Practice Excellence Julie Pursley Dooling discusses data inclusivity, as well as collection and workflow considerations for sexual orientation and gender identity data.

Close Doesn’t Count: Patient Matching Challenges in HIEs | Lisa Eramo

Journal of AHIMA: This article explores the role HIEs play in cleaning up patient identity data.

Ensuring Data Integrity During Health Information Exchange | Mary Butler

Journal of AHIMA: This article delves into the role of HIM professionals in health information exchange, patient matching, and data integrity.

The HIM View for 2020 | Mary Butler

The Journal of AHIMA previews patient identification and matching activities planned for 2020.

A Legislative History of Patient Identification

Infographic: View a timeline of HIPAA’s call for a unique patient identifier and the legislative and regulatory events that prevented it from happening.

Finding John Doe, Patient Matching and the Need for a National Patient Safety Identifier

AHIMA Body of Knowledge: This article explores the complexities around the creation of a national unique patient identifier and advocates lifting the ban on discussing it.

Identity Management Beyond the EHR: The Match Game with the SSA | T. Mowe Simpson, MS, RHIA, CPHIMS

Journal of AHIMA: Children’s Health of Dallas, Social Security Administration, and the Sequoia Project’s effort to improve patient matching.

Advancing a Nationwide Patient Matching Strategy

AHIMA Body of Knowledge:  A team of leading experts discuss efforts to date and the need for a nationwide strategy on patient matching.

Additional resources including articles, whitepapers, reports, and toolkits available here.

Read about other important topics in the health information industry here.

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