A survey of 815 health information management professionals finds more than half routinely work on mitigating possible duplicate patient records within their organizations.

In the survey conducted by the American Health Information Management Association, 57 percent of respondents do this work regularly with nearly three-quarters of them doing so at least weekly, while struggling to have enough resources to ensure accurate matching of patients.

Consequently, AHIMA calls for an industrywide effort to seek solutions. “Improving patient matching efforts is a challenge we can meet,” CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon said in a statement. “The healthcare community must come together to embrace it so that accurate patient information is available when and where it is needed.”

Also See: IT Leaders to Congress: We Need Patient Identifier Now  

The quest to improve patient matching affects such major healthcare initiatives as patient-centric care, health information exchange, population health management, data analytics, and finance issues that include value-based purchasing, risk-based reimbursement and accountable care organizations, according to the association.

Additional survey results show:

* Less than half of respondents have a quality assurance step in their registration or post-registration process;

* 43 percent are measuring data quality related to patient matching;

* 55 percent know the duplicate medical record rate but there is no standard for calculating the rate; and

* The top five challenges of managing the MPI/EMPI are: registration staff turnover, record matching/patient search terminology and/or algorithms, lack of resources to correct duplicates, inadequate information governance policy support and lack of executive support. 

More information is available here.

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