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Four Finalists Advance to Next Round of CHIME’s National Patient ID Challenge

May 16, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Four finalists were selected to the “Prototype Testing Round” of CHIME’s Healthcare Innovation Trust National Patient ID Challenge, the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based College of Healthcare Information Management Executives announced this week.

For the challenge, which was launched early in 2016—a $1 million crowdsourcing competition to incentivize the private sector to develop a fail-safe patient identifying solution that links patients to their medical records—hundreds of innovators from around the world participated, and following a review by a panel of five independent judges, four finalists were named to proceed to the Prototype Testing Round. Each of the four finalists submitted concepts that are well-positioned to meet the Challenge criteria for a national patient ID solution, according to CHIME officials.

Over the next several months, prototypes from each of these finalists will undergo testing in the areas of enrollment, identification, privacy, and security. The CHIME Healthcare Innovation Trust’s testing partner for the Prototype Testing Phase of the CHIME Healthcare Innovation National Patient ID Challenge is Modulus Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based medical device manufacturing company. The submissions advancing to this round are:

  • Michael Braithwaite’s proposal achieves patient identification through the use of multiple biometric technologies.
  • Bon Sy’s proposed solution identifies patients by analyzing a combination of behavioral and biometric information.
  • Team HarmonIQ Health System’s proposed solution uses blockchain, public ledger, FHIR and encryption/hashing technologies to identify patients.
  • Team RightPatient’s innovation uses photos, biometric third-party and other data, to enable patient identification.

Meanwhile, CHIME continues to advocate for lifting the decades-old ban that greatly limits the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from exploring options for a national patient identifier. The association said it enthusiastically supports the language recently unveiled along with the FY17 federal funding bill that clarifies the ability for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office for the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to provide technical assistance to private sector efforts to accurately identify and match patients to their healthcare data.

“Just last week Congress acknowledged in the government funding bill, that one of the most significant barriers impeding information exchange is the lack of a national approach to identifying patients,” said Branzell. “Our Challenge has brought to light the innovation and creativity available in the private sector. With the clarifying language offered by Congress earlier this month, we hope to leverage expertise within our federal agencies and ensure that the winning solution meets the needs of patients, providers and the federal government alike, improving patient care and reducing healthcare costs.”

Indeed, the language in that bill read, “Although the Committee continues to carry a prohibition against HHS using funds to promulgate or adopt any final standard providing for the assignment of a unique health identifier for an individual until such activity is authorized, the Committee notes that this limitation does not prohibit HHS from examining the issues around patient matching. Accordingly, the Committee encourages the Secretary, acting through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and CMS, to provide technical assistance to private-sector led initiatives to develop a coordinated national strategy that will promote patient safety by accurately identifying patients to their health information.

CHIME Board of Trustees Chairperson Liz Johnson, CIO, Acute Care Hospitals & Applied Clinical Informatics of Tenet Healthcare, added, “The time is now to solve this problem. Our patients deserve better and the CHIME Healthcare Innovation Trust National Patient ID Challenge has presented the industry with a great opportunity to address this serious patient safety issue in our healthcare system. We know that a workable solution exists, and we are thrilled to announce that four worthy solutions will proceed to the Prototype Testing Round.”

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