HHS, HIMSS Partner For Patient ID

Posted on by Frank J. Rosello

HIMSS is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through HHS’ Innovator in Residence program, to develop a strategy for nationwide patient data matching.

HIMSS is currently recruiting an innovator in residence to work toward an implementation plan for the near-term deployment of consistent patient data matching, building on the work of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and other healthcare partners.

The innovator in residence will assess the longer-term applicability of identity management processes and technologies currently in use in healthcare and other sectors, officials say.

The person hired for this two-year position will be a HIMSS employee who will work onsite in the office of the HHS Chief Technology Officer, to foster further collaboration with stakeholders across the healthcare community and in collaboration with ONC.


This work will “lead to establishing metrics of patient matching technology approaches and create a pathway for evaluating solutions,” said Bryan Sivak, HHS chief technology officer, in a statement. The end result, he said, will be an engaging of stakeholders “to adopt approaches that will set in motion improvements in technology that improve consistent and reliable patient matching of records.”

Estimates have shown that 8 to 14 percent of medical records include erroneous information tied to incorrect patient identification, posing a significant risk to patient safety. Moreover, the cost to correct these mismatches is estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

HIMSS is one of several groups participating in an ONC Patient Data Matching Initiative announced in September, having long maintained that adoption of a consistent nationwide matching strategy, through collaboration of the private and public sectors, must be a priority for better healthcare.


“To improve the quality and safety of patient care, we must develop a nationwide strategy to match the right patient to the right record every time,” said Lisa Gallagher, HIMSS vice president of technology solutions, in a statement.

The innovator in residence, she said, “will create a framework for innovative technology and policy solutions to help provide consistent matching of patient health records and patient identification.”

Article written by Mike Miliard

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