TThe College of Healthcare Information Management Executives is calling for a renewed push to establish a unique national patient identifier and is unleashing its 1,600 chief information officers and clinical medical informatics officers to press Congress to remove the current prohibition on such an identifier.

Source: IT Leaders to Congress: We Need Patient Identifier Now | HDM Top Stories#Login#Login#Login

As a board certified teleradiologist and clinical informist and Certified Professional in Health Information & Management Systems, one of the greatest challenges in my practice is reconciling patient identities within different EMR or health information systems. Our core business, Musculoskeletal Imaging Consultants has served as a private health information exchange in San Antonio Texas for several years. Doctors may send their patient to any participating imaging center. The patient’s imaging studies are transmitted to RadCloud, a secure private cloud radiology network supporting the Texas Radiology Cooperative (TRC), a cooperative collection of outpatient diagnostic imaging centers in South Texas. Users access the patient’s current and previous studies on one cloud based website without the need of locating the studies at multiple imaging centers or the need to download multiple conflicting PACS viewers. The user can access all the patient’s studies on a single web accessible work space that we call OneList. In order to reconcile the various patient identities from multiple information systems, we created a patient identity matching method that is approximately 85% accurate. It would dramatically improve efficiency and accuracy if each patient were issued a single unique identifier.

Douglas K Smith MD and Meaningful Collaboration are big fans of the Voluntary Unique Patient ID project that offers a method for interested individuals to obtain a unique trackable UID. I do not believe that any meaningful progress can be made toward achieving the ONC 10 year interoperability goals unless the Federal government mandates a unique patient identifier. We continue to support HIMSS and AHIMA in the support of the concept of a unique patient identifier.

Written by Douglas K Smith MD, CPHIMS
Board Certified orthopedic and spine teleradiologist and clinical informatist, inventor, thought leader, and serial doctorpreneur. Principle investigator and author of 35+ peer reviewed journal article and book chapters, 10 health information technology patents pending, 4 Copyrights and 23 Trademarks. During service as US Ski & Snowboarding Team Radiologist, Dr Smith created a collaboration platform based upon the newly released iPAD tablet back in 2010 and remains driven to "Create a universally accessible collaboration platform for healthcare providers everywhere- Meaningful Collaboration.