Achieving the ONC’s mandated 0.5% duplicate rate with Referential Matching

Jason Bihun

Jason Bihun, VP of Sales

Achieving the ONC’s mandated 0.5% duplicate rate with Referential Matching
The ONC has stated that healthcare organizations need to achieve a 0.5% duplicate rate by 2020. Yet the average duplicate rate is 8-12%. How can organizations reach this seemingly impossible milestone? With Verato Auto-Steward™ and its Referential Matching approach. Organizations can plug Verato Auto-Steward directly into their EMR or EMPI to dramatically improve that solution’s patient matching by automatically resolving the toughest matches that would otherwise require manual review.

Solving patient matching is essential, but very challenging

Since the early 2000s, I have personally seen a massive investment by healthcare organizations – including payers, HIEs, PBMs, and especially Providers – to improve the quality and availability of patient data. Either through federal incentives or their own internal business cases, these organizations have invested heavily in technology to modernize their infrastructure with the ultimate goals of delivering value to the healthcare system and dramatically reducing costs. Many organizations have doubled down on their use of EMR technology, expanding the scope and/or consolidating under one vendor. Likewise, in many cases, organizations have decided to rely on electronic master patient index (EMPI) technology to improve their patient identification and governance.

However, after years and hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in EMR and EMPI technologies, organizations still suffer from an average patient record duplication rate of 8-12%. And yet the ONC has stated that by 2020 organizations need to achieve a 0.5% duplication rate.

Related Content: Verato Auto-Steward is a quick and easy way to turbocharge the matching capabilities of your existing master patient index (MPI)

It’s only going to get more challenging – and we need a new plan

Healthcare organizations are in the midst of consolidating, introducing new systems, and migrating to new and better versions of old technology. The thought is that with these moves they may finally address the issue of patient identification and patient matching. However, all of these plans and efforts are actually exacerbating the problem by creating a higher level of complexity with systems and greater volumes of data. This is obvious by the renewed discussions of interoperability and national patient matching strategies that have been rebooted in our government and in professional groups like AHIMA. Unfortunately, these discussions lack concrete plans or recommendations that include real innovation.

Every organization struggles with the patient record duplication problem. But organizations either have no plan to meet the ONC mandate, or they are planning to address it with the same technology that has already been struggling with this challenge for decades. It’s time to create a plan that recognizes the complexity of the problem, respects the investments made to date in EMR and EMPI solutions, and does not overly burden organizations with additive costs.

The new plan: improve your EMR’s or EMPI’s patient matching with Referential Matching

Verato offers a solution that fundamentally solves the patient matching problem while still preserving the investments made in EMR and EMPI technologies. Verato Auto-Steward™ is a cloud-based, interoperable, and advanced solution that dramatically improves the patient matching of existing EMR and EMPI solutions by automatically resolving their toughest matches. Rather than sending suspect duplicates to data stewards and HIM teams for manually adjudication, organizations can plug Verato Auto-Steward directly into their EMR or EMPI and automatically adjudicate 50-75% of these suspects, saving time and money.

Verato Auto-Steward has been widely deployed with some of the leading EMPI and EMR technologies in the market. Customers leveraging EMR solutions from Epic®, Cerner®, eClinicalWorks® and many more have quickly been able to plug Verato Auto-Steward into their EMR to not only improve the patient matching within the EMR but do so in a way that makes it more affordable to operate with current or reduced staff. Likewise, Verato Auto-Steward has been paired with widely-deployed EMPI solutions like Mirth and IBM Initiate.

Related Content: Verato Auto-Steward is a quick and easy way to turbocharge the matching capabilities of your existing master patient index (MPI)

Verato Auto-Steward leverages a totally new, next-generation approach to patient matching called “Referential Matching” to make matches no EMR or EMPI can ever make. Verato Auto-Steward compares each record in a suspect duplicate to its comprehensive reference database, which contains a vast repository of publicly available demographic data spanning the entire US and including up to 30 years of historical data – like old addresses and maiden names. This reference database essentially acts as an “answer key” for demographic data. Using Referential Matching, Verato Auto-Steward can match records even if they contain old, incorrect, or incomplete demographic data – which traditional approaches struggle to identify or resolve.

By using Verato Auto-Steward, organizations can ensure that they achieve the original business case established for the use of their EMR or EMPI, that they reduce the costs associated with the ongoing maintenance and support of their EMR or EMPI, and that the larger ONC goal of a 0.5% duplicate rate by 2020 can become a reality.

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