Automated patient matching boosts efficiency at Healthix

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Patient matching was a significant issue for Healthix, the largest public health information exchange in the country serving the greater New York metropolitan area. The manual nature of the work was sapping productivity and efficiency.

The health information exchange was matching 11,000 patient identities daily, with much of the work being done manually. Even so, staff did not have enough information to make judgment calls on patient identification.

The HIE simply could not keep up with the volume of patient matching required, causing it to look at a next-generation master patient index, says Todd Rogow, senior vice president and chief information officer at Healthix.

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Healthix sought an MPI that featured automated patient matching and data stewardship capabilities that quickly match identities across providers or insurers. It considered three vendors and settled on the Verato Universal MPI, a self-learning application that automatically resolves the most difficult matches.

Verato actually is a secondary MPI service at Healthix; it uses a legacy IBM program that matches most identities, but it passes off difficult ones to Verato to resolve. Healthix gets nearly 2 million messages a day, and Verato gets the most challenging identity matching challenges.

Verato got the contract because its overall matching was superior to the other vendors and delivered considerably more results, including its ability to connect patients with public records such as identities, utilities, financial records, credit agencies and even Fitbit data. Each provider’s electronic health record system has a unique identifier for patients, and Verato technology enables it to find the identifiers and matches them to the patient.

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