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CHIME Suspends 2-Year National Patient ID Challenge Initiative

CHIME will pursue other strategies for improving patient matching after the National Patient ID Challenge failed to yield results.

National Patient Identifier

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) recently announced it will suspend the National Patient ID Challenge Initiative after nearly two years of work.

“Though we’ve made great progress and moved the industry forward in many ways through the Challenge, we ultimately did not achieve the results we sought to this complex problem,” CHIME said in a public statement. “We have consequently decided the best course for addressing this patient safety hazard is to redirect our attention and resources to another strategy.”

CHIME unveiled the $1 million competition in January of 2016. The challenge was intended to encourage innovators to develop a solution for ensuring 100 percent accuracy in patient EHR matching. Improved accuracy in patient EHR matching would reduce the potential for patient harm caused by mismatched and duplicate health records.

“We firmly believe that accurate patient identification is fundamental to patient care today and that innovation will lead to better, more affordable, more accessible and more equitable care,” stated CHIME. “We set an extremely high standard in the Challenge requirements to make that vision a reality.”

CHIME will pursue a new approach to achieving a nationwide patient identification solution.

“We commend the Challenge innovators for their commitment to improving healthcare and we encourage them to continue their work,” CHIME said.

CHIME also noted that Congress has recently moved to allow ONC to offer more assistance to the private sector in developing a national patient identification solution.

“We are encouraged by recent decisions in Washington that signal a possible easing of restrictions on supporting a national a patient identification solution, but we also see these actions as incremental and far from sufficient to meet our goals,” stated CHIME.

CHIME added it is still committed to finding a national patient identification solution and will bring key stakeholders together to continue its efforts. Specifically, CHIME will assist in developing a multisector Patient Identification Task Force through CHIME Healthcare Innovation Trust.

“The task force will be one of several initiatives we will support to keep patient identification a top priority,” CHIME explained.

The executive organization will continue to advise innovators and policymakers on addressing patient matching problems.

“Each day we lack a solution we put patients at risk,” CHIME maintained. “Together, through the Patient Identification Task Force and other collaborations, we will continue our efforts toward finding a solution and succeed at eliminating the risks and waste that result from patient misidentification”

ONC announced the successful conclusion of its own Patient Matching Algorithm Challenge earlier this month.

The federal agency selected three winning submissions from a pool of over 7,000 algorithms. Vynca, PICSURE, and Information Softworks won cash prizes amounting to a total of $75,000. 

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