With an epidemic of medical errors killing more than 250,000 Americans annually, the healthcare industry needs to make patient identification a national priority, according to Russ Branzell, president and CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).

Speaking at WEDI’s 25th Annual National Conference in Salt Lake City, Branzell told the audience that the problem of patient misidentification is as pervasive today as it has ever been, and he contends it directly impacts patient safety, referencing a study published earlier this month by Johns Hopkins researchers who found that medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States.

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