But, it’s the recommendation in the memorandum calling for an end to the Federal ban against national patient identifiers that may have the greatest impact on organizations trying to achieve interoperability, should the ban go through.
So, what exactly does that mean? And what implications could it have for healthcare organizations?
For starters, the continual challenge for providers to be able to match patient identity across the care continuum is not only something that can cause internal headaches, but it also is a major hurdle standing in the way of providers looking to achieve interoperability.
As more and more providers begin sharing patient information across systems, the risk of data falling into the wrong hands increases. While this can be a scary thought, there are steps that providers can take towards securing patient information to make sure this doesn’t happen. And, if all providers are able to put in place a system that lets them confidently identify patients regardless of location or vendor, then true interoperability can flourish.
Curious as to what steps your organization can take to achieve interoperability while protecting patient privacy? Start by taking into consideration the following questions:
1. Do you have technology in place that can accurately capture, manage and transform sensitive patient information?
2. Are there areas within your data processing where information might be getting lost or mistranslated?
3. Are you able to securely share electronic information throughout your hospital and with other providers?
The fact is that when you capture, manage and transform data, including patient healthcare information, with the right tools and technologies, you can help your organization meet interoperability goals and safely manage patient healthcare data.
The two goals no longer have to be mutually exclusive. And while a decision has not yet been made in terms of dropping the prohibition against unique patient identifiers, organizations should continue prepping to be as secure as possible as they get closer to achieving interoperability.