Let’s Talk About a National Patient Identifier

What happens when you bring an amazing group of experts to talk about an important topic? Magic. That’s how I’d describe this National Patient ID virtual meetup we put together with our friends at NextGate. Take a look at the amazing panel that shared important insights and perspectives on a National Patient Identifier:

  • Julie Pursley Dooling, MSHI, RHIA, CHDA, FAHIMA (@julezd), Director, HIM Practice Excellence at AHIMA
  • Mark J. Segal, PhD, FHIMSS (@msegal111), Principal, at Digital Health Policy Advisors, LLC
  • Dan Cidon (@dcidon), CTO at NextGate
  • Ben Moscovitch (@benmoscovitch), Project Director, Health Information Technology at The Pew Charitable Trusts

While this was supposed to happen at the HIMSS Annual Conference, I think it may have gone even better in the virtual environment where hundreds of people could join live. In case you missed the live event, you can watch the recorded version below:

Here’s a look at some of the questions we discussed during the meetup:

  • According to the new eHI-NextGate survey on patient matching, 70 percent of U.S. provider and HIE professionals agree that a national patient identifier would help to improve matching rates. Is a national patient identifier the answer to the patient identification problem?
  • If the government were lift the ban on federal funding for a national patient ID, where would we even start? What would be the best approach to rollout? Is the creation of one even possible?
  • If the U.S. government managed to create a high quality UPI number, what challenges remain for it to be used in healthcare?
  • What’s the risk to privacy of a national patient ID?
  • What can we learn from other countries that have mandated identifiers? What issues has it solved? What challenges still persist?
  • How can providers, vendors and other stakeholders actively support the call for a national patient ID (get the ban lifted)?
  • What is EHR vendors’ impact? What are, or should, EHR vendors be doing to help solve the patient identification problem?
  • Where do you think the future of patient matching lies? Or what emerging trends in identity management are showing signs of promise?

A big thank you to NextGate for working with us to put this virtual meetup together. If you need help with your EMPI (Enterprise Master Patient Index) or other identity management problems, be sure to reach out to NextGate and see how they can help.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.