Did you know that as much as 30 percent of the data in healthcare information systems is incorrect? Identity matching in healthcare is tricky because names change, people move, and there may be duplicate records for one person. According to a study from Just Associates in Centennial, Colorado, these types of issues account for over 58 percent of medical information mismatches—yet such a high prevalence does not make it okay. Patient matching software requires that records match so they may be processed effectively, just like with coordination of care.
Coordination of Care
When identity matching in healthcare goes awry, it impedes the quality of healthcare. When health records are only partially complete or are matched to the wrong person, the exchange of healthcare information is often disrupted so that care cannot be coordinated. It can limit patient access and often cause duplicate records—but that outcome is on the mild end. In extreme cases, patient identification matching issues could result in the type of medical errors that lead to permanent disability, if not death.
Cost of Care
Even if healthcare information mismatches do not contribute to patients’ health issues, they certainly affect their wallets. Patient matching software “impacts your ability to coordinate care, purchase life and disability insurance, and maybe even your job,” writes Adrian Gropper, MD. “Patient matching’s most significant impact, however, could be to your pocketbook as it is being used to fix prices and reduce competition in a high deductible insurance system.” Keep in mind that even families with insurance may be liable for as much as $12,700 in expenses before insurance kicks in.
Time for a Change
Clearly, identity matching in healthcare needs to improve—and the benefits of doing so are not limited to patients. “Healthcare patient data interoperability is critical to enabling access, improving quality and decreasing the cost of care,” says Peter B. Nichol, former head of information technology at the health insurance exchange for Connecticut. He continues by explaining how the right technology can benefit stakeholders across the board, from the patient to the company shareholder. It is time your company started using patient matching software, too.
Identity matching in healthcare is only a click away; Black Oak Analytics has solutions for every size of healthcare organization so that your employees are more efficient and your patients are happier. If you are interested in patient matching software for your healthcare organization, contact us today!