Why Is It So Hard to Match Patients with Their Medical Records?

March 20, 2019

(Undark) – These aren’t strange outliers; they are the everyday world of health care. Patient-matching — accurately matching patients to their medical records — bedevils every hospital, doctor’s office, laboratory, and other health care facility, risking patient safety and wasting money on unnecessary tests and procedures. There are two kinds of matching problems. The most dangerous is when records for different patients are mistakenly combined when, for example, two patients have similar names, leading to unnecessary kidney removals and other horrors. Much more common is the creation of so-called “duplicate” records for a single patient.

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