Today’s the day for Project US@

Steven Posnack and Carmen Smiley | January 7, 2022

Earlier today we announced the release of the Project US@ (“Project USA”) Technical Specification Final Version 1.0 and thereby completed our one year goal to coordinate the creation of a health care specification that could be used across the industry for representing patient addresses (mailing, physical, billing, etc.). This new “tech spec” will advance the health care industry’s proficiency in recording and managing accurate and consistently formatted patient addresses and support more efficient patient matching and record linkage.

As a reminder, among the many data elements that are used in patient matching, research has shown patient address to be one of the most sensitive to standardization and therefore impactful on patient matching, especially at scale. However, patient addresses change frequently, are often entered incorrectly or imprecisely.

To tackle this issue in a collaborative way, ONC kicked off a process in January 2021 to seek broad community input as well as expertise in standards development and health information management.  What followed was active feedback and engagement by more than 150 project participants from 18 standards development organizations (SDOs), 17 health IT developers, 8 payers, 10 healthcare provider organizations, 11 federal agencies, 7 state agencies, and 12 research, advocacy, and public health organizations.

Final Version 1.0 of the Project US@ Technical Specification and Companion Guide has been released! Adopt, test, and apply them for improved #patientmatching

During 2021, ONC built on this momentum and collaborated with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), who created a Project US@ Companion Guide. Among other facets, the AHIMA Companion Guide focuses on identifying, recording, and verifying patient addresses at point of registration to support data governance and quality improvement.

There you have it folks! Now it’s time to get out there and start using the Project US@ Technical Specification and AHIMA Companion Guide in your work.

As with any project there was still some unfinished business, including a focus on geolocation data, tribal communities, among other specifics. The community’s work will continue in 2022 and you’re welcome to join.

Please visit the Project US@ page to learn more.

Find more information on ONC’s patient identity and matching efforts.