ONC Partners with HIMSS to Improve Patient Data Matching
By Catherine Costa, ONC
Matching EHRs does not involve just matching technology performance; it also involves the data quality, process proficiency and policy restrictions (federal, state and organizational).
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) have partnered to develop a vision/strategy to improve consistent patient data matching in health care. We have established that in order to make improvements to matching patients with their EHRs, we need to establish a baseline of definitions and measures.
Matching rates for many healthcare organizations is largely not consistently monitored, making process improvements nearly impossible. Within this project we plan to create a prototype of a ‘patient match assessment tool’ that will provide a framework for healthcare organizations to expand upon and assess their matching performance. The goal of the tool is to provide a means by which various settings are able to measure matching performance in a common manner.
The ONC has engaged a group of stakeholders, primarily from the clinical space, representing hospitals, Health Information Exchanges, Regional Extension Centers and Accountable Care Organizations. We will continue to work with the stakeholders to determine the scope of the initial tool development (EHR to Registration System, Enterprise Master Patient Index to EHR, EHR to Radiology, etc.) An early concept for the tool is that it will contain three main components: patient matching technology performance measure, data quality measure and a process proficiency measure.
One of the goals of this project is to work with the industry to gain consensus on definitions and measures. The ONC will work to establish a framework by which technology matching performance is measured consistently (regardless of the algorithms used), and a framework by which the industry can measure data quality consistently. Lastly, we are exploring establishing a process proficiency scale that will help to define the maturity level and efficiency of the process that is creating, searching for or exchanging records. The ONC is seeking partners that will test the patient matching assessment tool, assist with scoping the right use cases and developing a roadmap in which this approach can be scaled and grow to include clinical research and patient-reported data. We are in the process of developing the scope of work for the tool development and the statement of work for the testing centers.
For more information about this effort, please contact Catherine Costa at Catherine.email@example.com or 202-550-2847.
This article was originally published in the FHA February Newsletter, The Pulse.