ONC releases draft patient-matching specification

June 17, 2021

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released a draft technical specification for representing patient addresses in electronic medical records, with a goal of improving the accuracy of matching numerous records for the same patient. 

Called Project US@, ONC, part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), drafted the specification in collaboration with standards development organizations and industry experts.

Some of the organizations involved include the Health Level 7 (HL7), the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP), X12, and other members of the Health Standards Collaborative (HSC). The Project US@ Technical Workgroup that developed the draft specification included contributions from, for example, the United States Postal Service (USPS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, developers of patient matching and other health IT applications, health information exchanges and networks, standards development organizations, and other subject matter experts.

The comment period for the draft specification will be open July 1-July 31, 2021, and will be released by NCPDP, X12, and HL7. The final version 1.0 of the Project US@ Technical Specification is expected to be released later in 2021.

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