Lawmakers introduce patient-matching bill for EHRs

U.S. lawmakers introduced bipartisan legislation Feb. 16 to better match patients with their EHRs.

U.S. Reps. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., and Bill Foster, PhD, D-Ill., sponsored the Patient Matching and Transparency in Certified Health IT, or MATCH IT, Act of 2024.

"Patient matching errors have led to unnecessary expenses, medical mistakes, and even patient deaths," Mr. Kelly said in a Feb. 16 news release. "This bipartisan legislation works to improve interoperability between healthcare systems and decrease these fixable matching errors, all while protecting patient privacy."

The legislation aims to improve the standardization of patients' demographics inputted into certified health IT products and form an anonymous, voluntary system to analyze patient match rates. The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, HIMSS, and the American Health Information Management Association all expressed their support for the bill.

"This legislation will address our nation's current inability to consistently and accurately identify patients to their health records," stated Craig Richardville, chief digital and information officer at Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Health. "Improved standardization of patient demographic data will lead to more accurate patient matching, which in turn will produce advances in patient safety, more complete information for clinical care, and cost savings from reducing the need for repeated medical care, among other benefits."

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