A recent publication by the General Accounting Office states that accurate patient matching and supporting privacy of patient information are major challenges to achieve interoperability.
A recent article published in HIStalk continues the discussion about the pros and cons of unique patient identifiers as a means to improve patient matching.
In January of 2014 the ONC released a Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience (SAFER) report on patient identification. This is a self assessment tool to be used by healthcare organizations that want to determine how well they are doing in the patient identification area. It focuses on 14 measures of patient identification quality.
A recent article reported that in the past month there have been nine major healthcare data breachs resulting in the exposure of personal information on more than 1,000,000 patients. This reinforces the need for healthcare to implement improved privacy and security measures to enable proper protection of healthcare information.
On Dec. 16 Audacious Inquiry hosted a report on their work to support an ONC project investigating the patient matching issue in healthcare. The attached list of references is a valuable resource for those interested in improving healthcare's patient identification capabilities.
This is an update of a 1993 WEDI foundation report on healthcare automation. The report has several items that deal with patient identification.
On page 17 the report states the first patient engagement recommendation as "Standardize the patient identification process acoss the healthcare system.
On page 54 the report makes a HUGE MISTAKE when it recommends "Use the Social Security Number as a patient identification number."
This is a 60 page white paper prepared by the HIMSS Patient Identity Integrity Work Group in December, 2009 investigating the status of patient matching. It includes discussions on current matching approaches and their shortcomings, the role of unique identifiers, the importance of proper procedures, and a brief discussion of the GPII system.