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Black Book Report Highlights Patient Identification Issues

April 11, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Hospitals with EMPI (enterprise master patient index) support tools in place since 2016 reported consistently correct patient identification rates, according to a new Black Book market report.

About one-third of all denied claims result from inaccurate patient identification or information, and new data shows that using an EMPI in turn costing the average hospital $1.5 million in 2017 and the US healthcare system over $6 billion dollars annually, according to the survey results.  

For the report, Black Book surveyed 1,392 health technology managers to help stakeholders identify gaps, challenges and successes in patient identification processes from Q3 2017 to Q1 2018. The crowdsourced poll of enterprise master patient index users revealed that prior to administering an EMPI tool, an average 18 percent of an organization's patient records were found to be duplicates.

"As data sharing grows and challenges in connectivity are tackled, resolving patient record matching issues has become more urgent and complex," said Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book Research. Indeed, the average expense of repeated medical care because of duplicate records cost a reported average of $1950 per patient per inpatient stay and over $800 per ED visit, according to the research.

The data showed that hospitals without EMPI support tools reported current match rates at 24 percent when organizations exchange records. Meanwhile, hospitals with EMPI support tools in place since 2016 reported consistently correct patient identification at an overall average 93 percent of registrations and 85 percent of externally shared records among non-networked providers. QuadraMed, a Plano, Texas-headquartered healthcare identity vendor was rated highest among 27 vendors in the satisfaction and loyalty polling of EMPI users.

"Ultimately, the real challenge of identity management and parsing together a longitudinal health record has to do with integration and interoperability," said Brown. "Many systems still do not communicate and store data in disjointed architectures and an upsurge of identifiers continue to be created."

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