Habush Habush and Rottier

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Interview-ish article with Judy Faulkner

Courtesy of Healthcare IT News: Epic CEO Judy Faulkner talks EHR Interoperability, Need for a National Patient ID, Physician Productivity

The comment "Unique patient ID has to happen" intrigued me, because that's patently untrue.

  • We already have a national ID: Social Security Number. However, that doesn't account for recent immigrants or tourists. 
  • It's possible that every single person living on planet Earth may visit the United States at some point and while visiting may need health care. 
  • You'd need to be able to account for >7,000,000,000 people (and counting). 
  • Tourists may visit the USA multiple times and years apart, and they can't be expected to remember an MRN.
  • A national ID does no good if the potential exists for one patient to have multiple IDs. Within a single hospital, Patient Merge gets used all the time. If you've ever had to deal with Patient Merge AND Care Everywhere, then you know the problems that arise when a hospital can't match the person to the chart. Multiply that by the entire nation. Or the entire planet. 
  • Biometrics are unique and they can't be forgotten because they don't have to be remembered in the first place. 
  • A national (international?) database of biometric information with bi-directional interfaces to every hospital system will need to be created and maintained.
  • Remember Obamacare?

That seems a good place to stop. Discuss.