Inaccurate patient matching is one of the most critical challenges facing the healthcare industry today. Multiple vendors offer enterprise master patient index (EMPI) technologies as solutions to this challenge, but it can be difficult to navigate what sets one solution apart from the rest.
But before diving into the differences between EMPI solutions, why is accurate patient matching important?
For providers, patient matching done right will eliminate clinical and operational challenges, such as economic drag, billing inefficiencies, and clinical errors.
For patients, having a single, longitudinal view of their health records will improve safety and coordination of care, as well as improve the customer service experience provided at medical facilities.
For HIEs & ACOs, population health informatics are dependent on quality clinical analytics, and when the patient dataset is inaccurate, the results will be too. This also forecasts a bleak future for the success of interoperability efforts.
Beyond that, the costs of inaccurate matching are high: duplicate medical records cost $800 per emergency department visit, $1,950 per inpatient stay, and result in $17.4M annually in denied claims1. But more critically, a survey of nurses, physicians, and IT practitioners found that 86% of these professionals have witnessed or know of a medical error that was the result of patient misidentification2. These medical errors could end up costing a life.
The biggest challenge when it comes to patient matching is that patient demographic data is always changing, incomplete, or error-prone. This is due to several factors, for example:
Manual data entry errors at registration: I recently moved and had a physical done at a new doctor’s office and updated my address at registration. When I entered the LabCorp office for bloodwork in the same building, during the same visit, they were unable to locate my information. The issue? My street name had been transcribed wrong with one extra “R”.
Life Events: such as getting married and having your last name changed
Updated Information/Moving: such as changing your phone number, street address, or email address
No Standardization on Data Entry: for example, skipping the email text-box at the primary physician office but adding it at the ER; or, putting “Avenue” at the primary physician office and “Ave” at the ER.
With the volume of patient data rapidly increasing and the same problems proliferating, a revolutionary solution is needed now more than ever. The Verato Universal™ MPI is the most accurate, easiest to implement, most secure and most cost-effective EMPI solution. Here’s how it stacks up to the competition.
Our revolutionary Referential Matching technology marries reference demographic data with referential algorithms, cloud services and big data, allowing us to manage, match and link patient data with unprecedented accuracy.
Other EMPI solutions are still using conventional matching technologies utilizing deterministic or probabilistic algorithms. These conventional technologies directly match the patient demographic data from two records, then calculate the probability that those records match. But these conventional methods struggle with old, sparse, or differing demographic data, resulting in a higher number of missed matches (“duplicate records” or “false negatives”) and incorrectly matched patients (“overlays” or “false positives”). Referential Matching is able to overcome the shortcomings of probabilistic and deterministic matching and link out-of-date, incomplete, incorrect or different demographic data.
A few other vendors are beginning to partner with third-party data sources to enhance their matching. But these third-party data sources simply aggregate demographic data, while Verato curates its reference data. The difference is like the difference between a hoarder’s house and a library. Sure, in a hoarder’s house you might find the book you’re looking for, but is it the correct book? Is it the newest version of that book? Are there other copies of that book lying around elsewhere?
Verato’s reference database, on the other hand, is comprehensive, self-correcting, and continuously-updated, and it contains billions of demographic data points that have been curated into over 300M unique identities, each of which contains a complete profile of demographic data spanning a 30-year history. Our reference database is essentially an answer key for patient demographic data, and our referential algorithms leverage this answer key during matching to automatically match up to 98% of records with no tuning required—even records that contain out-of-date addresses, maiden names, missing SSNs or birthdates, and errors or typos. The healthcare industry has evolved and requires technology that has evolved with it—and Referential Matching is just such a technology.
Verato has taken extra steps to meet the rigorous technical security standards of our clients and is not only HIPAA compliant but also HITRUST certified, as well as PCI and SOC 2 Type 2 certified. The Verato Universal MPI will never store or hold clinical data or information and demographic data is kept in a secure, private client environment strictly for matching purposes. Security is vital to our clients and we have proven that it is vital to us.
Easiest to Implement & Most Cost-Effective:
While some EMPI vendors claim to be providing a cloud-based SaaS solution, Verato is the only patient matching service that was truly built for the cloud. Other vendors are still simply implementing on-premises software, or are offering to host and manage the same conventional legacy technology they would otherwise install on-premises. But cloud-hosted technology, even if it is managed by the EMPI vendor, still requires upfront implementation costs, lengthy algorithm tuning, software upgrades and high data stewardship costs due to its inaccurate matching.
The Verato Universal MPI typically lowers total cost of ownership of your EMPI by 2x-3x, and can instantly save you over $400,000 per year. Verato cuts out over 50% of manual duplicate resolution costs and eliminates costs such as licensing, maintenance, support, implementation, tuning, upgrades, hardware, and security. And because it is a SaaS solution, you can deploy the Verato Universal MPI in as little as eight weeks.
The healthcare industry has set forth goals for improving coordination of patient care and achieving interoperability. These goals rely on having a single, accurate view of the patient, which can only be achieved through accurate patient matching.
The Verato Universal MPI is an innovative, next-generation solution that is faster, better and cheaper than the rest of the playing field. If you are seeking a best-of-breed product for patient matching, look no further.
 Black Book Market Research, Mid-Year EHR Consumer Satisfaction Survey, 2018  Ponemon Institute, National Patient Misidentification Report, 2016