HIMSS & HHS Collaborate on Patient Identification and Data Matching

Washington, DC (December 17, 2013)  Through HHS’s existing “Innovator in Residence” (IIR) program, HIMSS and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are collaborating to move forward on the creation of a nationwide patient data matching strategy.

HIMSS is currently recruiting an IIR to develop a vision, strategy, and implementation plan for the near-term deployment of consistent patient data matching in health that builds on the body of work from HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and healthcare community partners.  The IIR will also assess the longer-term applicability of identity management methods, processes and technologies currently in use in healthcare and other sectors.

The person hired for this two-year opportunity 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.

“HIMSS is honored to work with HHS on this initiative,” said Lisa Gallagher, HIMSS Vice President of Technology Solutions.  “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.  The IIR will create a framework for innovative technology and policy solutions to help provide consistent matching of patient health records and patient identification.  We look forward to collaborating with HHS to find the optimal candidate for this opportunity.”

“I encourage anyone who wants to have a substantial and transformative effect on healthcare to apply for this exciting opportunity,” said Bryan Sivak, HHS Chief Technology Officer.  “The work of the IIR will lead to establishing metrics of patient matching technology approaches and create a pathway for evaluating solutions. When looking back, successes of the IIR will include engaging stakeholders to adopt approaches that will set in motion improvements in technology that improve consistent and reliable patient matching of records.”

HIMSS and other organizations have long worked to bring attention to the need for collaboration between the government and the health IT community to identify and adopt a consistent nationwide patient data matching strategy.  According to industry estimates, 8 to 14 percent of medical records include erroneous information tied to incorrect patient identification—a serious patient safety risk. In addition, 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. The project’s recommendations were part of this week’s discussion on patient data matching, and provide additional insight into identifying the common attributes that achieve high positive match rates across disparate systems, and begin defining the processes and best practices that are most effective to support high positive patient matching rates utilizing the common attributes.

Over the past three years of National Health IT Week, one request that HIMSS members have consistently articulated on Capitol Hill has been to “make the development and adoption of a consistent nationwide patient data matching strategy, through government-industry collaboration, a priority.”  HIMSS members explained to their Members of Congress that “the ability to exchange health information confidentially and securely across systems, settings of care, vendors, and geography is a fundamental requirement to transforming America’s healthcare delivery system: achieving improved quality clinical outcomes, and controlling costs.”

The Innovator in Residence will work with stakeholders in business, research, healthcare organizations, consumers/patient organizations, technology vendors and others with an interest in positively transforming the healthcare system in America.  Candidates with experience in innovative approaches to health information technology development and project management are invited to apply to join HIMSS and HHS in this opportunity to positively impact healthcare in America.  Visit the HIMSS website for more information on the responsibilities and required qualifications.

 

About HIMSS

HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology.

HIMSS is a part of HIMSS WorldWide, a cause-based, global enterprise producing health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS WorldWide encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause.  HIMSS WorldWide, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Media Contact: Elinore Boeke eboeke@himss.org 703-562-8817


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