May 22 2017

ID Contests Aim to Improve Patient-Matching Practices

Several organizations are enlisting contests as a way to make 100 percent patient identification a reality.

While biometric tools like fingerprint, iris and palm-vein scanning devices are helping some healthcare organizations match patients with their correct data, misidentification continues to be a widespread problem for the bulk of the industry.

To that end, health IT organizations are launching several challenges to innovators across the country to improve patient ID tech.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) recently announced the finalists in its Healthcare Innovation Trust National Patient ID Challenge, launched in January, which seeks to accelerate the creation and adoption of a solution to ensure 100 percent patient identification in the United States, Russell Branzell, president and CEO told HealthTech in a previous interview.

The challenge drew 371 innovators from 38 countries who sought to demonstrate how their solutions could accurately enroll and identify patients within 44 use cases (such as those presenting with injuries to the face, eyes and limbs) or individuals trying to enroll with fraudulent identification.

In a press release, CHIME identifies the four submissions whose prototypes will advance to intense testing in the “areas of enrollment, identification, privacy and security,” as:

  • Michael Braithwaite for his proposal that uses multiple biometric technologies.
  • Bon Sy for his solution that analyzes a combination of behavioral and biometric information to ID patients.
  • Team HarmonIQ Health System for its solution that uses blockchain, public ledger, Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and encryption/hashing technologies.
  • Team RightPatient for its innovation that uses photos, biometric third-party data and other types of data to enable patient ID.

“The time is now to solve this problem,” said CHIME’s Liz Johnson, CIO for acute care hospitals and applied clinical informatics at Tenet Healthcare. “Our patients deserve better and the CHIME Healthcare Innovation Trust National Patient ID Challenge has presented the industry with a great opportunity to address this serious patient safety issue in our healthcare system. We know that a workable solution exists, and we are thrilled to announce that four worthy solutions will proceed to the Prototype Testing Round.”

ONC Looks to Build Patient-Matching Techniques

Moreover, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT on May 1 announced its Patient Matching Algorithm Challenge, designed to “bring about greater transparency and data on the performance of existing patient matching algorithms, spur the adoption of performance metrics for patient data matching algorithm vendors, and positively impact other aspects of patient matching such as deduplication and linking to clinical data,” according to the website.

The challenge offers six cash prizes totaling $75,000 to the winners.

“We expect the result of this challenge will spur the development of innovative new algorithms, benchmark current performance, and help industry coalesce around common metrics for success,” said Steven Posnack, director of the ONC’s office of standards and technology, in a blog post announcing the contest.