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How Health Systems Can Benefit from a National Patient Identifier

Samara Rosenfeld
AUGUST 15, 2019


A National Patient Identifier would allow a healthcare provider to find and identify an individual without having to resort to name, date of birth and address and other things that should not be associated with identity.
 
Such an identifier is merely conceptual in the U.S. at this point. But Daniel Cidon, chief technology officer and co-founder of NextGate, a company aiming to improve delivery of quality care, told Inside Digital Health™ at Expo. Health in Boston that a National Patient Identifier would benefit health systems and providers in a number of ways.
 
“Well, I think that patient identity is clearly something that’s at the very core of all the data that are collected about a patient,” he said.
 
Providers have to know who the patient is they’re interacting with, Cidon added.
 
National Patient Identifiers can also help with patient safety and interoperability. Though Cidon does not know exactly what they would look like when and if they are rolled out, such systems would give providers the ability to get a broader view of the patient.
 
“So ultimately you can provide better care,” he said.
 
This system could also have financial benefits for providers, he added.
 
A National Patient Identifier could improve billing accuracy and can help give more transparency into who had received what service, said Cidon.

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