Establishing the unique patient identifier for patient matching is critical to ensure a safe and secure exchange of health information. This is why a group of stakeholders wrote to the Congress stating that the federal government must take the initiative to assist the private sector. Errors in patient identification are initiated during the registration process, can generate wrong site surgery, and delayed diagnoses. As providers continue to utilize data exchange, errors in patient identification and data matching will only increase. Precision medicine and disease research efforts can also be affected by duplicating patient records.
The importance of coordination of care can be initiated by identifying patients and matching them to their data, since it’s imperative to grow toward nationwide interoperability. Without any consistent patient matching strategy, the safe and secure exchange of data is a cumbersome task. According to a 2018 Black Book survey, duplicate records cost over $800 per emergency department (ED) visit and more than $1,950 for an inpatient stay. A total of 18 percent of patient health records were found to be duplicated before the EMPI tool was implemented. In addition to that, inaccurate patient health data lead to denied claims amounting to a total of 33 percent. The rise in risk and cost from redundant medical tests and procedures due to fragmented data trapped in siloes, makes tracking patients a challenge. Resolving patient record matching issues have become more complex as data sharing continues to grow.