Source: Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
An issue of growing concern for hospitals and healthcare providers is duplicate patient records within their Master Patient Index (MPI), the healthcare provider’s database that holds information on every patient.
A “duplicate patient record” occurs when a single patient is associated with more than one patient record. Duplicate patient records are often caused by patient names that have complex spellings and/or variations of a name, data entry input errors by hospital staff, identity sharing among patients, and unenforced admissions quality standards across different locations of a given provider. Just one mistyped digit in a social security number, birth date, or address can lead to a duplicate record. Patient intake staff contends with identity sharing, nonEnglish speaking patients and foreign nationals, all which further complicate the admissions process and increases the potential for creating duplicates.
Testing was conducted on over 700,000 patient records and it was established that the physician group’s records had a duplicate rate of approximately 5%.
According to the “Building an Enterprise Master Person Index” American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Practice Brief, U.S. hospitals have a duplicate patient record rate of 10%.
Duplicate records occur frequently for patients with common names. For example, in states with large Hispanic populations, the name Maria Garcia is extremely common. A local hospital may have hundreds of patient records with the name Maria Garcia within their MPI. In order to locate the correct Maria Garcia the registration clerk must perform a search by entering the last name “Garcia” and at least the first three character of the first name “Mar*”. The system locates all records with Garcia as the last name and Mar as the first three characters of the first name including first name such as Maria, Marie, Mary, Marcus and many others. This type of search often returns hundreds of potential records requiring the registrar to scroll through multiple screens in their attempt to locate the correct Maria Garcia. View Full Report