NextGate applauds the House for their decision to overturn the ban on federal funding for a national patient identifier in a serious effort to improve interoperability and patient safety. While a universal patient identifier is not the silver bullet to solving the patient matching crisis in the United States, it will help to move the needle forward toward building a safer, more interoperable health care system. Having worked extensively in other countries that currently have a mandated number—England and Scotland—it alone is not enough to achieve total integration across health and social care services. Because the US health care system is much larger in scope and far more complex than that of the United Kingdom, a national patient identifier should be perceived as another strong indicator of an individual’s identity, in conjunction with other demographics required for matching. Nevertheless, we commend the decision as a major step forward in enabling a longitudinal health record, and we are well-positioned to support the transition.
— Source: NextGate Chief Technology Officer Dan Cidon