WASHINGTON, February 12, 2020 – Correctly and consistently linking patient data across the care continuum remains a significant challenge for U.S. hospitals and health information exchanges (HIEs), according to a new report from eHealth Initiative Foundation and NextGate. The findings are based on a national survey of healthcare provider and HIE leaders to help capture a candid and comprehensive picture of the current patient matching landscape.
Massive changes are taking place in the healthcare ecosystem as the U.S. transitions to a value-based care model, including many mergers and acquisitions and a wide expansion of interoperability services for HIEs. This study helps to better define actions currently in place, adoption barriers, and the growing need for government support.
“As the number of players and organizations in the healthcare space continue to expand rapidly, patient matching is even more important,” says Jennifer Covich Bordenick, chief executive officer of eHealth Initiative Foundation.
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Key findings of the survey include:
38 percent of U.S. healthcare providers have incurred an adverse event in the last two years as the result of a patient matching issue.
Data entry errors are the leading cause of duplicate medical records.
Lack of funding and staff are the biggest barriers to patient matching for HIEs, while providers point to lack of prioritization and technology.
67 percent of providers employ quality assurance steps to help identify discrepancies during or post registration.
Approximately 70 percent of providers and HIE leaders “completely” or “somewhat” agree that federal funding should be made available for a national patient identifier.
Healthcare providers and HIE leaders see data standardization and biometrics as the most promising innovations to impact patient matching efforts nationally.
“Incomplete or inaccurate data in one’s health record can be detrimental to patient safety and a significant barrier to delivering coordinated, patient-centric care,” said Andy Aroditis, CEO of NextGate. “This survey confirms that healthcare institutions must continue to invest in better approaches to facilitate a comprehensive and accurate record of care across the continuum. Measures that move identity management out of EHRs, make meaningful information more accessible and sharable, and improve data governance at the point of collection, are much needed steps to accelerate patient matching performance.”