Vendors team to address patient matching challenges

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Imprivata and Verato are developing patient identity software that combines biometric authentication and referential matching.

The combination of the technologies is intended to securely and accurately match patients to their medical records, long a vexing problem with the increasing dependence on electronic medical records.

Imprivata will integrate its palm vein scanner, called Patient Secure, with Verato’s referential matching technology, resulting in a combined solution that providers can use for identity proofing, record resolution and authentication.

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The initiative comes as some members of Congress are calling to remove a longstanding ban that has prevented the Department of Health and Human Services from adopting a national patient identifier, as consensus grows that accurate patient matching is a serious need in the industry as insufficient matching can result in patient safety issues.

Black Book estimates that about 18 percent of health system records are duplicates, meaning that nearly one out of every five patients doesn’t have a complete medical record at the point of care. Consequently, providers spend large amounts of time and work to eliminate duplicates, assemble complete care histories and reduce redundant tests and procedures, which can support organizations’ patient engagement, patient access and patient safety programs.

Working together, the vendors can attach a biometric identifier using Imprivata’s PatientSecure software, said Sean Kelly, MD, chief medical officer at Imprivata.

“Our customers are asking for a comprehensive solution for managing the end-to-end problem of patient data,” Mark LaRow, CEO at Verato noted. Biometrics capture patient identities wherever the patient appears, and referential matching ensures that all records are linked to the correct patient. There also is a need for accurate patient data to feed new initiatives like analytics, telemedicine, precision medicine, social determinants of health and clinical decision support.”

The vendors also note that more accurate patient identity will support interoperability programs.

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