We Have an EMR, Why Can’t We Quickly Identify Patients?

Recently while attending the AHIMA Conference last month in Baltimore I engaged in a number of conversations during the general sessions. As you may have guessed, many of the topics revolved around EMR integrations and data extraction. Being a conference for HIM professional’s, clinical documentation was also a major concern.

However, there was an underlying theme that came across through many of the conversations. That being: now that you have implemented and deployed an EMR system, you are not done. To the contrary, your work has just begun.

That said, most folks agreed that technology in healthcare is now beginning to pay digital dividends. In particular, where efforts are being made to adapt to new payment models, such as ACO’s and population health initiatives.

Of note to me, was the issue of identifying patients. Obviously, patient identification is at the forefront of patient safety and is of particular importance within healthcare. During the AHIMA Conference, Dr Andrew Gettinger, (CMIO) Executive Director, Office of Clinical Quality and Safety, ONC spoke about the need for a National Patient ID and discussed the upcoming CHIME National Patient ID Challenge.

 The Chime National Patient ID Challenge is a competition to incentivize the adoption of a solution to provide 100 percent accuracy in identifying patients. The prize is one million dollars. According to Dr Gettinger the results will be announced sometime in 2017.

At Extract, our customers have expressed the same concern. This has led to the development of a number of features within our solution to enable customers to identify patients and as well as match patients to open orders awaiting results. In fact, many of our customers using Extract’s clinical data extraction solution report eliminating the vast majority of manual data entry and required human assistance to perform data validation and error correction using our rapid verification interface.

So, in looking ahead we feel our solution is ready to incorporate the handling of helping healthcare organizations identifying patients. Once the results of the CHIME National Patient ID Prize are awarded, we will ready to start working with our healthcare partners to ensure the appropriate care is delivered safely.

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About the Author: Joseph Smith

With over 15 years of experience working with large hospitals and health systems in both HIS and communication platforms, Joseph Smith helps healthcare organizations streamline data entry to enable fast access to critical information. He blogs on topics relating to advanced data capture, and automating workflows.