Giving Compass' Take:

· Writing for Health System CIO, Chuck Christian emphasizes the need for a more accurate and trustworthy patient identification program and why the lack of this system is an impediment to interoperability.

· How can we take successful patient identification methods being used by individual organizations and apply them on a larger scale? 

· Check out this article about the potential for electronic health records in an integrated system to build trust in AI and data capability within healthcare.


I’m fairly certain that just about anyone reading this post is aware of the origin and content of HIPAA, which was signed into law in 1996 to “improve the portability and accountability of health insurance coverage” for employees between jobs. However, one key piece is missing. The original Act included a provision for the creation of a National Patient Identifier (which I covered in my second post).

This may seem a little like the movie “Groundhog Day” where Bill Murray kept living the same day over and over again. I seem to keep coming back to the topic of positive patient identification. I’m certain that there’s a subconscious reason for it.

What jarred me into thinking about this again was a recent Wall Street Journal article, entitled “Tech May Cure Patient ID’s Woe” — if only that was true. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that there will be a tech component to the solution, but technology alone will not be “the” solution.

The article starts out with the sentence, “Biometric technology is coming to the hospital.” As many of my CIO colleagues already know, biometric technology is not new to hospitals; we’ve been working with biometrics for many years in a variety of areas: patient identification, employee/staff identification, etc. In some of the early pilots, we learned it was very expensive to deploy throughout the enterprise and the technology still needed some work. It’s much better by today’s standards, but it is still not inexpensive.

Read the full article about patient identification by Chuck Christian at Health System CIO.