CHICAGO – April 26, 2021 – Patient ID Now, a coalition of more than 40 leading healthcare organizations, including the American College of Surgeons, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), Intermountain Healthcare and Premier Healthcare Alliance, today released its Framework for a National Strategy on Patient Identity: A Proposed Blueprint to Improve Patient Identification and Matching.
In the framework, the Patient ID Now coalition calls on the federal government to closely collaborate with the private sector and with state, local, tribal and territorial public health authorities to create and implement a national strategy around patient identification that protects patient safety and privacy. The Framework for a National Strategy on Patient Identity offers perspectives from across the health ecosystem and provides the building blocks from which the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could build a national strategy that ensures accurate patient identification. Within the framework, the coalition outlines a number of actions HHS should consider if it moves forward on a national strategy. These recommendations fall under topic areas such as accurate identification and match rates, privacy, security, standardization, interoperability, data quality, and health equity and inclusion.
Some of the recommendations put forth by the coalition state that a national strategy should:
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Provide guidance and standards on the calculation of error rates across health IT systems and organizations and identify minimum acceptable levels of accuracy;
Leverage public and private sector resources to address patient privacy, including materials from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the principles of Self-Sovereign Identity, and Privacy by Design; and
Define the minimum standardized data set needed for patient identification and matching.
"Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to address patient misidentification throughout the health ecosystem," said AHIMA CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE. "Accurate identification of patients is one of the most difficult operational issues during a public health emergency, and the nationwide response to the pandemic, including the rollout of the vaccination programs, has highlighted the repercussions of not having a nationwide strategy to connect patients with their data."