Patient ID Now coalition releases framework for strategy on patient identity

May 5, 2021

Patient ID Now, a coalition of more than 40 healthcare organizations released its Framework for a National Strategy on Patient Identity: A Proposed Blueprint to Improve Patient Identification and Matching, according to a news release from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

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 coalition says that a national strategy should:

·        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.

·         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.”

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