Using Health IT for Patient Identification Best Safety Practices

HIMSS is a proud partner in the Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety. The Partnershipis a multi-stakeholder collaborative whose goal is to make health information technology (IT) safer together by collecting and analyzing health IT safety hazards and events. Partnership workgroups use the data collected to create safe practices, publish recommendations, and develop implementation toolkits.

Errors associated with Patient Identification are one of the top causes of adverse events associated with Health IT. To combat common errors, the Partnership developed eight recommendations for best practices to ensure that health IT facilitating improved patient identification. That framework, or IDENTIFY,

  • Include: Electronic fields containing patient identification data should consistently use standard identifier conventions.
  • Detect: Use a confirmation process to help match the patient and the documentation
  • Evaluate: Use standard attributes and attribute formats in all transactions to improve matching.
  • Normalize: Use a standard display of patient attributes across the various systems.
  • Tailor: Include distinguishing information enhancing identification on screens, printouts, and those areas that require interventions.
  • Innovate: Integrate new technologies to facilitate and enhance identification.
  • Follow Up: Implement monitoring systems to readily detect identification errors.
  • Yield: Include high-specificity active alerts and notifications to facilitate proper identification.

The IDENTIFY Toolkit developed by the Partnership for Health IT and Patient Safety Patient Identification Committee chaired by Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH, from the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine is a free tool designed to help implement the IDENTIFY best practices.

HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence Case Studies on Using Health IT for Patient Identification

Closed-Loop Medication Administration and Bar Coding Best Practices for Reducing Medication Errors (North York General Hospital, North York ON)

Developing a Medication Management Strategy (Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh-UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA)

Innovative Utilization of RFID Bar Code Administration (St Clair Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA)

Using Bar-Coding for Breast Milk Management (Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Orange CA)

Breast Milk Labeling and Identification Best Practices (Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh-UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA)

Children’s Pharmacy Supply Chain Management (Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, TX)