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Grant Given To Develop Automated Patient Matching

(Airman 1st Class Mary O'Del/defense.gov)

Photo: U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Mary O'Dell

Matching patients to their medicals records ensures doctors make more comprehensive decisions regarding patient care.

Regenstrief Institute’s Center for Biomedical Informatics is receiving a $1.7 million grant to develop and test methods for automatically matching patients to their medical records. It’s a process called automated patient identification.

Dr. Shaun Grannis is the Center’s director. He says that up to half of patient records are not accurately matched when data is transferred between health care systems.

“We aim to generate evidence to show whether methods for accurately  and uniquely and efficiently identifying patients actually work, and which elements work well, which elements work well together and which don’t,” Grannis says.

This is important because if medical records aren’t matched accurately, doctors may make misinformed decisions during treatment.

Currently, there isn’t a standardized method for identifying patients in the United States.

“How do you standardize a person’s name and date of birth and address exedra. There’s lots of different ways to do that but because people do them differently, you can wind up with different results,” Grannis says.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is funding the five year grant.

The Center for Biomedical Informatics will be using the Indiana Network for Patient Care to develop and test the different methods. It’s largest inter-organizational clinical data repository in the United States.

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