Verato asks ONC to standardize patient-matching tools

Verato, a provider of cloud-based patient identity matching based in McLean, Va., issued a response to the ONC's proposed rule to implement provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act that encourage interoperability and facilitate access to and use of electronic health information.

The ONC's proposal, which was unveiled in March and remains open to public comments until June 3, seeks to foster greater interoperability by implementing standardized application programming interfaces, so information can be shared more easily across EHR platforms and other health IT systems.

In its response, Verato urged the ONC to also establish within the proposed rule performance benchmarks for patient matching tools like its own, to allow patient data to be shared safely and efficiently.

"Ensuring that the patient matching tools offered by vendors meet minimum standards would be the first step," Verato CEO Mark LaRow wrote in the response. "But a necessary second step would be to establish quality standards for patient matching at health enterprises, too. We have seen that even the best patient matching technology can be implemented poorly at a health enterprise."

Mr. LaRow continued, "It seems unconscionable that we do not have minimum standards for patient data integrity. Patient safety is at stake…Without standards, measurement and rules, this federated interoperable environment will never work well enough."

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