Innovations for the improvement of patient identification

Maintaining accurate patient records is key to providing high quality care without errors, yet many of the electronic records stored by healthcare organizations cannot be transferred from one hospital to another. A study published in the Journal of AHIMA examined innovations to improving real-time patient identification and record matching to ensure accurate records.

Innovation in patient identification begins with cloud-based computing to quickly gain access to information. Additionally, cloud computing will allow for the sharing of electronic health records from one an organizations platform to another organization. With real-time cloud technology, records are updated routinely to stay up-to-date and ensure accuracy.

“The key to innovation in patient identity goes beyond staying up to date with recent technologies – it involves a strategic data governance process,” said AHIMA interim CEO Pamela Lane, MS, RHIA. “Once a solid plan is in place, professionals can leverage the digital assets, such as cloud-based services and other data services, to approach this issue in a complete manner.”

A second method outlined in the study included installing machine learning to implement fingerprint analysis and facial recognition to reduce errors in matching patient electronic records. Continually improving the concept of unique patient identifiers will differentiate patient from patient, improve their accuracy of records and quality of care.

Researchers included recommendations for healthcare organizations and professionals to guide implementation of patient identification technologies. These recommendations include involving professionals that can handle patient access and registration, health information management, technology and analytics.