The Patient Matching Conundrum

Interoperability has long been a concern of healthcare providers, and is likely to continue to be an issue as long as companies are using a variety of disparate systems that don’t communicate well with each other.  One of the solutions surrounding better patient data sharing and care is the ability to match a patient’s information across different systems.

Recently, a group of 33 organizations called on both houses of Congress to make patient matching an issue that is addressed in any appropriations bills for 2019.  One of the largest hurdles to creating this type of unique identifier is a ban that has been in place for 20 years on using federal funds to establish this type of solution.  The ban was put in place due to privacy concerns, but stakeholders are increasingly looking to the benefits of patient matching and the potential for its benefits to outweigh the fears.

The patient ID ban doesn’t prohibit congressional committees from examining issues surrounding patient matching, so they will be ready if and when this ban is lifted.  These groups also want to be sure that congress won’t be impeding the efforts of the private sector to find a patient matching solution.

Patient matching is needed in order to get a more complete record of an individual patient and to bill properly.  It’s also needed though, to solve larger societal issues like the opioid epidemic and to be able to conduct more research into diseases and other health issues.

Extract recognizes the importance of patient matching.  When we automate your workflows related to outside documents entering your organization we use a variety of cues to ensure that these documents are matched with the correct patient medical record number.  Rather than needing to manually identify a patient, Extract ensures a robust and accurate medical record in a fraction of the time.

If you’d like to learn more about how we match incoming documents with patient records, please reach out to us today and we’d be happy to explain or give you a demo.

About the Author: Chris Mack

Chris is a Marketing Manager at Extract with experience in product development, data analysis, and both traditional and digital marketing.  Chris received his bachelor’s degree in English from Bucknell University and has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.  A passionate marketer, Chris strives to make complex ideas more accessible to those around him in a compelling way.