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Duplicate Health Records Reach Epidemic Proportions



By An-Chan Phung

Following is an excerpt of an article published on September 14 online at HIT Leaders & News:

As the volume and complexity of data has proliferated, duplicate and inconsistent patient records have been growing like a hidden virus, and the problem is now approaching epidemic proportions. This problem is now affecting every part of most hospitals’ operations today, from the quality of care delivered to the ability to coordinate care among facilities, to patient and provider satisfaction. In fact, according to a study published in the Spring 2016 issue of Perspectives in Health Information Management:

  • Duplicate patient records are costing health systems an average of $96 per record
  • The cost of repeated tests or delayed treatments caused by duplicate records can add another $1,100 per patient
  • More than 100,000 people die annually due to mistaken identity or “wrong patient” errors; and
  • Four of every 100 cases involving duplicate records has a negative care impact 

Here are four ways a next-gen enterprise master patient index (EMPI) can help:

  1. Breaks Down Silos

As organizations increase the use of technology, they tend to add new systems and applications, many of which can’t communicate with one another. Advanced EMPI—also referred to as Master Data Management (MDM) in non-healthcare settings–is the key enabling technology for hospitals and healthcare organizations to take control of their data. An advanced EMPI system integrates the data from these disparate systems and forms an overarching technology umbrella, resolving and synchronizing data issues and providing a single patient view that can be accessed across the enterprise.

  1. Provides Advanced Technology

What hospitals need is a solution that offers truly modern capability and high-speed processing and has the computing horsepower necessary to synchronize patient data. By providing advanced matching algorithms, relationships, and hierarchies, an advanced EMPI provides true interoperability among an organization’s various systems.

  1. Enhances Both Patient Engagement and Collections

To meet the goals of Triple Aim–enhanced patient care experience, improved population health, and reduced costs–clinicians need an all-inclusive and singular view of each and every patient. An advanced EMPI eliminates the problem of multiple patient instances resulting from numerous system databases.

  1. Reduces Use of IT Resources

An advanced EMPI automatically matches and merges duplicate records into a “golden record,” and distributes clean data back into source systems. This is an area where the mega-vendor systems consistently fall short. They can clean data within their own siloed databases, but struggle to break through and synchronize with other systems in the organization. An advanced EMPI minimizes those costs by empowering in-house staff to handle management tasks historically handled exclusively by external IT vendors.

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Topics: Health Systems, Hospitals, Master Data Management Solution, Healthcare

Posted by An-Chan Phung on 18 Oct 2017

About the author
An-Chan Phung

An-Chan Phung

An-Chan Phung is Chief Innovation Officer, VisionWare


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