Identifying the right patient supports all HIT initiatives
uccessful, meaningful and productive exchange of health information depends on the accuracy and in- tegrity of patient identifi cation procedures. Sending health information for the wrong patient can initiate negative repercussions, including inappropriate patient care, privacy breaches, data quality degradation, incorrect billing and eroding trust from patients and stakeholders. Patient data exists in most every application system in a healthcare environment. Unfortunately, the information is not always consistent, complete or accurate, even when it is something as simple as capturing the patient’s name. Each system maintains its set of data in an application-specifi c for- mat, enforces a different level of minimum requirements and typically uses its own numbering scheme to assign identifi ers to the patient.
This is OK, as long as all users and functions operate within that same application. However, when the need arises to share patient data between systems, the consequences of inaccurate patient information become painfully apparent. How can you be certain that patient “Jane Smith” in the scheduling system is the same as “Jayne Smithe” in the HIS? You can’t.
The tried-and-true solution to this situation is to imple- ment a vendor-independent enterprise master patient index (EMPI). “Vendor independent” and “enterprise” because it needs to be able to accommodate any numbering scheme and data format and interact using industry standards with any information source in the connected environment: HIS, ER, EMR, scheduling, billing, PMS, etc.
The EMPI is designed to cope with variances in the data and cross-reference patient identifi ers from multiple information systems to create a centralized, trusted registry of uniquely identifi ed patients. As part of this process, duplicate patient records can be merged automatically or fl agged for review. With an EMPI managing the correlation and resolution of patient data, the enterprise will continually improve the quality of its data, regardless of persistent data-entry errors or contaminated content from less-trustworthy sources. As a result, the enterprise can confi dently exchange data internally or externally, develop solutions that generate single views of data and improve the overall effi ciency of the sys- tem.
And that leads to reduced costs and better customer ex-
perience. At NextGate, we specialize in EMPIs and healthcare registry solutions – our staff having built the fi rst vendor-independent EMPI 18 years ago – and have delivered solutions for hundreds of satisfi ed customers. With the NextGate EMPI, you can rest assured that the most-robust matching algorithm is employed to manage millions of unique identities with support for the latest interoperability standards. Our years of experience and direct customer feedback have guided the product, ensuring that NextGate EMPI has intuitive workfl ows for administer- ing the EMPI and seamlessly integrates with the multitude of systems and existing integration infrastructure common in healthcare environments. When you exchange healthcare information, don’t gamble. Be certain. For more information, visit www.NextGate.com.
26 June 2012
HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY