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Just Associates Joins Patient ID Now to Support Advancement of a Nationwide Patient Identification Strategy

Coalition of health care organizations seeks relief from statutory language blocking HHS from supporting a solution to address serious issues preventing accurate patient matching.

Just Associates, Inc, a nationally recognized leader in patient matching and health information data integrity and management, is lending its voice to Patient ID Now in support of efforts toward a nationwide patient identification strategy. The newly formed coalition of health care organizations is dedicated to eliminating regulations that create barriers to public-private collaboration on solutions to the intractable problem of inaccurate patient identification.

Founded by the American College of Surgeons, AHIMA, CHIME, HIMSS, Intermountain Healthcare and Premier Healthcare Alliance, Patient ID Now is focused first on removing long-standing statutory language in the federal budget that has hampered the ability of Health and Human Services (HHS) to advance a nationwide patient identification strategy. Narrow interpretation of that language—contained within section 510 of the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill—prohibits HHS from supporting efforts to identify a national solution, such as adoption of a unique patient identifier.

“Just Associates is pleased to lend its support to this vital cause as a member of Patient ID Now,” says Lora Hefton, executive vice president of Just Associates. “For nearly two decades, Just Associates has been committed to improving MPI managementpatient matching, and data integrity. We enthusiastically support the coalition’s effort to take a legislative approach to clear the path toward a national patient identification strategy that can address this serious patient—and public—safety issue.”

Inaccurate identification and matching endanger patients through an increased risk of medical errors, delayed or lost diagnoses, duplicative testing, and wrong patient orders. For providers, the lack of a consistent approach to patient identification costs the average health care facility $1.2 million per year and the US health system more than $6 billion annually.

“Any failure to accurately match patients with their health information has the potential to also create a public health crisis,” Hefton says. “When public health surveillance systems are inadvertently populated with thousands of inaccurate records, it eliminates from consideration information on test results and diagnoses that is critical to making informed and timely public health decisions.”

Source: Just Associates