AHRQ awards Regenstrief Institute $1.7M to study patient matching

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The Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Institute will develop guidelines to improve automated patient identification through a five-year, $1.7 million grant from HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The grant, awarded to the Regenstrief Institute's center for biomedical informatics, will evaluate algorithms and software that matches patient information from disparate medical systems such as EHRs, lab tests and imaging results. Matching patient information may prove challenging due to typographical errors, missing information or patients having similar names, among other concerns.

"Matching the correct individual to his or her health data is critical to their medical care," said CBMI Director Shaun Grannis, MD, principal investigator for the grant. "Statistics show that up to one in five patient records are not accurately matched even within the same healthcare system."

The researchers will test algorithms and software on the Indiana Network for Patient Care, an inter-organizational clinical data repository developed by CBMI and operated by the Indiana Health Information Exchange. Based on their findings, the researchers will also recommend how to standardize identification information that is used for patient matching.

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