Data used to categorize individuals for identification, records matching, and other purposes.

Data Element

Information from the submission form

Medical Record Number
The unique identifier assigned by the provider to reference a single patient


CDC's comment on behalf of CSTE

Medical record number (Level 2); CSTE strongly recommends that medical record number be moved into USCDI v3. This element is critical to include in eCR and ELR and is used heavily for person matching and deduplication as well as when requesting additional clinical information on a case of reportable disease.

Unified Comment from CDC

  • NOTE - This comment supports the promotion of the Data Class Patient Demographics - Data Element Identifier to USCDI V3 as well as the additional Data Element of Identifier System, including the allowance of multiple instances of Identifier/ Identifier System per patient. We believe that this will allow needed flexibility to accommodate use and exchange of the variety of patient identifiers in current use in the US. An example of this approaches is: Identifier: 3A456B789, Identifier System: http://AcmeHealth//fhir/id/MRN.  If ONC does not choose to incorporate this approach (Identifier + Identifier) in USCDI V3, we recommend allowing for the following Patient Demographic Data Class Data Elements in USCDI V3: Medicare Patient Identifier, Medical Record Number and Social Security Number. In the event that Social Security Number is not included in USCDI V3 as a supported Patient Demographic Identifier, the use of Medical Record Number will be critical to accurately identify patients to provide appropriate patient care and complete public health surveillance.  
  • General Comment: Medical Record Number is a ubiquitous patient identifier in most healthcare organizations in the US and in the EHR and HIT systems that support those organizations. This data element is requested by and exchanged with ancillary systems within an organization, business partners outside of the organization, public health, research projects and other use cases as a primary or secondary means to positively identify patients. 

Specific Identifier(s) or general Identifier?

MedMorph supports the addition of Medical Record Number, but is concerned with having a general Identifier element (level 2) as well as Medicare Patient Identifier (level 2), and Patient Social Security Number (level 1). What is the intention of Identifier - is it a placeholder for a national identifier of some sort for a patient? We recommend that USCDI either take a general approach with Identifier Type, Identifier System, and Identifier Value OR be specific with Medical Record Number, Medicare Patient Identifier and Social Security Number elements (and remove the Identifier element).

Recommendations for Updated Submission

We've reviewed and submitted comments in regards to the submission for Patient Medical Record Number and stand to see that we have slightly differing data element submissions, though this was the previous submission marked as it's duplicate. We recommend re-visiting our submission and comparing it to the above submission seen here.

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