Committed to Achievable Solutions, HIMSS Conducts Live Patient Matching Testing Event

Accurate identification of patients and accurately linking patient data is an issue that continues to challenge the healthcare system today. Patient matching is a process of linking a patient’s health care records located in disparate health care information systems. Patient matching has been noted as one key barrier to achieving interoperability of electronic health care records.

As part of ongoing efforts to improve the patient matching process, HIMSS/HHS Innovator-in-Residence Adam Culbertson has joined forces with HHS Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Paula Braun and David Portnoy and other industry colleagues to conduct the first HIMSS Patient Matching Testing Event at the HIMSS Innovation Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

The event, taking place on August 14, 2015, leverages the HIMSS partnership with the HHS Office of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) (HHS IDEA Lab) (see HHS IDEA Lab blog on this event) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) on a two-year Innovator-in-Residence Fellowship, focused solely on this challenge. The HIMSS Patient Matching Testing Event brings together the HHS innovators with industry colleagues in a laboratory environment.

At the event, HL7 FHIR project lead Grahame Grieve will share the benefits of the emerging standard and how interfacing matching software with the FHIR reference implementation can simplify the process of patient matching. Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN) architect Jeff Eastman will discuss synthetic patient data generation and the structure of the data sets to be used for the testing event.

“The HIMSS Patient Matching Testing Event will bring together innovators, developers and algorithmic matching and healthcare standards experts in a hands-on testing and application development environment,” said Lisa A. Gallagher, BSEE, CISM, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, HIMSS vice president, technology solutions. “HIMSS is pleased to host this event at our HIMSS Innovation Center in Cleveland, Ohio, as part of our ongoing commitment to leverage innovative technologies to address industry challenges via collaborative projects.”

In order to explore how the data matching process can be simplified and connect disparate datasets, the event will offer opportunities to participate in testing and application development activities. Two use cases will be explored to demonstrate how different use cases of matching have vastly different requirements. The event will also offer educational and brainstorming opportunities for identifying touch points of collaboration. Results will be aggregated and next steps determined to facilitate this ongoing project.

“The hope is that the testing event will serve as a kick-off to broad industry collaboration to solve this complex problem,” said Adam Culbertson, HIMSS Innovator-in-Residence. “We appreciate the support of HHS IDEA Lab and ONC in this endeavor and welcome industry colleagues to the project.”

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 produces health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS encompasses more than 61,000 individuals, of which 79% work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 640 corporations and 400 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause. HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

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Media Contact: 
Joyce Lofstrom