An-Chan Phung, Chief Technology Officer, VisionWare
Written by: An-Chan Phung
Take a look through the contacts in your cell phone. Do you have more than one entry for the same person? Or, do you have one listing for your cousin Maggie’s old cell phone, one for her new cell phone, and one for her work line at the job she lost three years ago? When you bought that new iPhone, you expected that all of Maggie’s different entries would be appropriately matched and the right data would appear in the right fields. However, now, when it comes time to reach her, it‘s time-consuming and frustrating to get to Maggie’s magical record. You spend more time sifting through the information and trying to make sense of it than you do connecting with the people who matter in your life. Even technology as simple and integral as your personal smart phone can be made complex and time-consuming if the data inside isn’t managed properly.
Now, picture facing this problem on a larger life or death scale—trying to find accurate patient contact information in a hospital or health system EMR. Over time, your hospital acquires new technology solutions, a wide variety of employees from across your entire health system begin to enter personal health information, the hospital acquires additional hospitals and/or practices, and the duplicate records just keep adding up. Unfortunately, however, now the stakes and the potential negative impacts are much higher, and your new “duplicate record problem” begins to prevent your overall hospital from achieving healthcare’s Triple Aim.