The Cures Act: The Importance Of An Accurate MPI/EMPI

“A master patient index (MPI) is an index of known patients within a single organization whose visits are linked together by a single identifier, typically the medical record number. MPI management activities typically pertain to a software application that identifies, coordinates, and lists database information.

Enterprise MPI (EMPI) combines MPIs of two or more organizations. The MPI and EMPI are vital databases. The information within an MPI is a key component in the accuracy of patient information, such as identification of allergies, medication lists, and prior visits.”

(source: https://engage.ahima.org/HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?DocumentFileKey=ca53ccdc-60bb-4320-a014-8652894a588e)

The 21st Century Cures Act, passed in 2016, includes a provision requiring that patients can electronically access all of their electronic health information (EHI), structured and/or unstructured, at no cost, beginning April 5, 2021.

This rule lays out a vision where a patient’s health information can move seamlessly between health plans and providers.  

Our health care system has been challenged by the pandemic. The demand for COVID-19 testing has dramatically increased. Data such as a person’s insurance company or address determines where they go to get tested for COVID-19. Patient identification is vital to the delivery of efficient care, but at this point there is no national strategy requiring collection of certain patient demographic data elements. A lack of data standardization within the Master Patient Index (MPI) record process can lead to inconsistency, discrepancies and error. Without standardization, information is going to be lost.

“Accurately identifying patients and matching them to their data is essential to coordination of care and is a requirement for health system transformation and the continuation of our substantial progress towards nationwide interoperability, a goal of the landmark 21st Century Cures Act.”

(source: https://ehrintelligence.com/news/focal-areas-for-improving-patient-matching-in-provider-settings)

The Final Rule promotes innovation and transparency with the help of computers, smartphones, and software to ensure clarity of health care services and costs.

Correct patient identification is a critical aspect as patient matching issues can be dangerous for patients’ safety and create administrative errors. Duplication and fragmentation interfere with interoperability efforts.

Health care interoperability will challenge organizations to establish a stronger patient identification process.

PCG’s Online Assessment and Consulting Services foster discussion and collaboration among stakeholders to identify key steps in preparing for compliance of the Final Rule to ensure the interoperability of patient health information. For more information on how PCG can assist you, visit www.primeauconsultinggroup.com

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