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The complexity stems from many factors including variability in practices of authentication, data collection, technology, and the historical silo approach to patient identification.
Previously, patient identity integrity was seen as a health information management (HIM) or registration/patient access function, with limited staffing devoted to the issue and a site-specific approach.
Today’s health transformation initiatives push this function to the front of the health information exchange effort.
Incorrect or incomplete data capture within the healthcare setting can create critical patient care issues and risk privacy breaches, thus degrading consumer and user trust.
As data exchange methods through Direct messaging, private exchange, or state HIOs continue to evolve, patient identification errors will increase significantly.
A provider searches the HIO EMPI using either the patient’s demographic information or the provider’s previously assigned patient identifier.
This incompatibility compromises healthcare’s ability to achieve truly successful interoperability.
Exchange relies entirely upon demographic information contained in the individual person’s record to initially match their clinical information amongst multiple provider organizations.
Health information organizations (HIOs) support, oversee, or govern the exchange of health-related information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards.
HIOs are the recipients of the stewardship and governance applied to patient identification processes, thus HIOs are today highlighting many of the weaknesses in the historical systems and practices.