Patient Identity and Patient Record Matching

patient identitiy and patient record matching picture

Patient matching is defined as the identification and linking of one patient's data within and across health systems in order to obtain a comprehensive view of that patient's health care record. At a minimum, this is accomplished by linking multiple demographic data fields such as name, birth date, phone number, and address. Patient matching is a critical component to interoperability and the nation's health information technology infrastructure.

In December 2019, a Congressional Appropriations Agreement for 2020 directed ONC, along with other pertinent Federal agencies, to provide a report to Congress studying and evaluating current technological and operational methods that improve identity and matching of patients. It also requests analysis of the risks and benefits of unique patient identifier (UPI) standards.

Current Opportunities

Recognizing it as a continuing substantial patient safety issue, ONC is investigating strategies to improve patient identity and matching. Stakeholder input and insight into existing challenges and promising innovations in patient identity and matching will inform ONC’s report to Congress on technical and operational methods that improve patient identity and matching. We invite all stakeholders to submit comments to identity.onc@hhs.gov by September 4, 2020.

Content last reviewed on July 16, 2020
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