AHIMA launches petition for national voluntary patient safety identifier

The American Health Information Management Association announced it has launched a petition to ask the White House to address the need for a national voluntary patient safety identifier by removing legislative language that has prevented open discussion between the government and others, including AHIMA, who are seeking a solution to this critical patient safety issue.

The petition, available on petitions.whitehouse.gov, needs 100,000 signatures by April 19 to ensure a response from the Obama administration.

“As a patient, you know there’s only one you. But sometimes a name or some personal information is so similar to someone else’s that doctors’ offices or hospitals can have a hard time identifying records correctly,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA. “It’s a dangerous and costly problem that can lead to missed diagnoses, inappropriate treatments or unnecessary tests, as well as making it difficult for providers to exchange health information.“

AHIMA believes a possible solution is a voluntary patient safety identifier that could allow patients to create a way for medical systems to recognize them quickly and accurately. An identifier will help ensure all each patient’s health information is kept together and is complete, all the while remaining under the patient’s control.

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AHIMA, American Health Information Management Association, EHR, electronic health record, HHS, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, voluntary patient safety identifier

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