HIT Think Record-Matching Integrity: An Algorithm Primer

Published
  • October 23 2012, 4:25pm EDT
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When hospitals are sharing information internally or externally, accurately linking patient records from multiple disparate databases and information systems is critical to ensuring clinicians are making decisions based on the correct and accurate patient records and avoiding the creation of system-clogging duplicates and overlays.

One patient can have multiple identifiers within a single organization, e.g. medical record number, billing/patient account number, order number, requisition number, etc. More identifiers come into play when an organization has multiple locations offering different types of services. When these identifiers flow into an HIE or ACO, strong algorithms must be in place to identify with pinpoint accuracy which records belong to which patient so they can be linked into a single record with a single unique identifier for use across the initiative.

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