Duplicate and outdated patient files have always been a thorn in the side of the healthcare industry, and with the demands of COVID-19, the need to standardize records has only been emphasized. Issues that have arisen include addressing “long-haul” issues, the need for boosters and actions on future variants, as well as interacting with millions of remote patients.
Ultimately standardization will yield more efficient provider operations, ease in billing, and create better patient outcomes. As a provider of healthcare service solutions, Credence Global Solutions provides results based on our client’s needs. For record standardization, there are at least three types of conformity needed
Three Types of Conformity Required
- First, establishing which data fields are required v.s those that are requested allows for the prioritization of the ability to identify and merge or track patient data. When you consider the added challenge of incorporating the sheer volume and variety of data that health systems are currently experiencing, the time for records standardization was clearly yesterday.
- Second, making the fields consistent across data forms, again to ensure that information captured at varying points of the patient’s healthcare experience can be easily compiled to a singular accurate view.
- Third, the conformity required needs to define what the specific requirements of any data field might be – for example, imagine months are notated in certain fields as two digits when one first-class is needed – this will certainly make the records more reliably searchable.
A Chronic Drain on the Operational System
The costs of mismanaged patient records are clearly apparent to healthcare providers. Especially those managing the constant flow of visitors to ER rooms and clinics. These health systems are aware that the main culprits of inconsistent records are the well-intentioned imperfections of healthcare workers capturing information at registration or its information provided directly by the patients. At the beginning of the pandemic, it was reported that duplicate record creation cost the healthcare system over $6 billion industry annually.
It’s very likely that COVID-19 made an already bad situation worse. It sped the adoption of digital interactions across all geographies and industries when health systems weren’t necessarily prepared.
Digital Transformation Has Already Started
The closest we’ve gotten to a universal or national patient identifier without legislative action is using Social Security numbers, which are woefully inaccurate, with one analysis finding that approximately 20 million Americans have more than one and 40 million numbers are associated with more than one individual.
The ongoing debate about patient identification and matching needs to be seen within a broader context of digital transformation that has already begun, however uneven and imperfect. The processes and tools for implementing these activities are tested and well-known. Credence Global Solutions seeks to ease investor worries and aid healthcare systems with their AI-based and standardization techniques to usher in transformation on a larger scale to more providers. Contact Credence Global Solutions today.