In an effort to find a universal solution for accurately matching patients with their health information, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives has issued a $1 million challenge to innovators to develop a national patient ID.

“There is a growing consensus among payers and providers that a unique patient ID would radically reduce medical errors and save lives,” said CHIME CEO and President Russell P. Branzell, in a written statement. “Incomplete or duplicate health records present significant issues in terms of patient safety, and there is a pressing need for preventing, detecting and removing inaccurate records so hospitals can positively match the right data with the right patient in order to provide the best possible care.”

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According to a 2012 CHIME survey of healthcare CIOs, error rates due to patient mismatching averaged eight percent and ranged up to 20 percent.  In addition, 19 percent of the 128 respondents indicated that their hospital had experienced an adverse event during the course of the year due to a patient information mismatch.

CHIME will launch the challenge early this summer on the HeroX platform, designed to spur innovation and solve problems. There just one hitch: CHIME must still raise the $1 million prize money. In the meantime, the organization says it has put a task force of health IT leaders in place charged with assigning challenge guidelines and winning criteria.

Additional information on CHIME’s National Patient ID Challenge is available here.

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