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Journal of AHIMA Article Explores Trends in Patient Matching

CHICAGO – May 4, 2020 – As medical systems consolidate and move forward with value-based payment models, many are focused on increasing patient matching capabilities that can improve care and reduce costs. In the May edition of the Journal of AHIMA, Lisa A. Eramo, MA, with input from an AHIMA member, writes about five trends in patient matching for 2020.

One trend they note is the growing number of providers participating in health information exchanges (HIEs) and accountable care organizations (ACOs). Within these arrangements, multiple medical systems share data with each other to improve patient matching. “The value proposition for matching patients within an ACO is relatively clear,” Eramo writes. “All providers benefit financially when patients achieve positive outcomes at the lowest cost.”

Another trend mentioned in the article is medical systems using referential data from nonmedical sources, including credit bureaus and the US Postal Service, for patient matching. Eramo also writes that medical systems are beginning to rely on cell phone numbers as unique identifiers because patients tend to change them infrequently.

“Matching patients with their existing health data is critical to patient safety,” said AHIMA CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE. “Patient matching also leads to a more accurate exchange of information and better health outcomes. This is a challenging problem, but health information professionals have the expertise and knowledge relating to the  people, process and technology used to identify and match patients to their health information while maintaining a low duplicate record error rate in their facilities.”


AHIMA is a global nonprofit association of health information (HI) professionals. AHIMA represents professionals who work with health data for more than one billion patient visits each year. AHIMA’s mission of empowering people to impact health drives our members and credentialed HI professionals to ensure that health information is accurate, complete, and available to patients and providers. Our leaders work at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and business, and are found in data integrity and information privacy job functions worldwide.

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May 1, 2020

Five Trends in Patient Matching for 2020

Increased focus on patient identification and matching challenges and the downstream effects on outcomes and cost.

Read full article at Journal of AHIMA

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