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Customer Experience and Design

Avoiding Inaccurate Patient Identification for Healthcare Services

As we mentioned in an earlier post about Tracking a Single Patient in a Connected Healthcare Environment, the key to making an integrated healthcare system work is identifying and managing a unique patient identifier that can be used to connect one patient across a diverse network of care providers.

In this post we are going to explore the options available for unique patient identifiers in a connected healthcare world. There are two broad options for managing unique identifiers:

Record locator service (RLS): RLS provides the ability for a request for patient clinical information across disparate electronic health record systems to use a set of criteria and rules to query these source systems to identify whether clinical information exists for the individual at that location.

Records bank model (RBS): The records bank concept enables citizens/patients to store and update their clinical information, through consent, from those healthcare systems and ancillary care centers that generate healthcare results. Patients can add and access clinical information associated with them and can grant access to other care providers that are part of that citizen/patient care delivery team.

An incomplete – or worse, inaccurate – master person or provider index is a source of serious concern. As such, ensuring that integrated Health IT project includes a feature-rich master person/provider index is critical.

However, the most important – but often overlooked – aspect of this important index is creating the strategic business processes necessary to maintain an accurate person/provider index. This often requires an organization to venture into the dicey waters of change management. You can find some team-based change management tips in our earlier post Preparing a Healthcare Organization for Change:

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