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The Pew Charitable Trusts Highlights Referential Matching as One of Four Opportunities to Improve Patient Matching in the Exchange of Health Information

Verato CEO to discuss the role of Referential Matching in solving nationwide patient matching challenges at a panel discussion hosted by Pew

McLean, VA – October 2, 2018 – Verato, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based patient matching solutions, today announced that The Pew Charitable Trusts released a report highlighting referential matching technology as one of four opportunities to improve patient matching nationwide. The report, entitled “Enhanced Patient Matching Is Critical to Achieving Full Promise of Digital Health Records,” is the culmination of two years of research by Pew.

Verato CEO Mark LaRow will be discussing the report and its recommendations today at an event hosted by Pew, along with other patient matching experts and thought leaders including Shaun Grannis, director of the Regenstrief Center for Biomedical Informatics, Robert Rudin, information scientist at RAND Health, Catherine Schulten, vice president at LifemedID, Joe Trelin, senior vice president at CLEAR, and Micky Tripathi, president and CEO at the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative.

Patient matching – the ability to accurately link all of a patient’s health data within and across health systems – is a problem that has vexed the healthcare industry for decades. To compile its report, Pew evaluated solutions to the problem through commissioned research, focus groups with patients, interviews with hospital executives, and conversations with experts. The report explores the impacts of inaccurate patient matching, provides an overview on progress to date, and outlines key next steps and recommendations to improve matching.

Specific opportunities to improve patient matching include: (1) unique patient identifiers (including biometrics), (2) patient-empowered solutions, (3) demographic data standardization, and (4) referential matching. Referential matching technology is the next-generation patient matching technology pioneered by Verato.

The foundation of referential matching technology is a comprehensive, continuously updated, and highly-curated database of identities in the United States. Each identity in this database contains a complete profile of demographic data, including common data errors and a 30-year history of data about an individual, including names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, and emails. By using this database as an “answer key” during matching, referential matching technology achieves benchmark match accuracy rates not attained by other approaches used in isolation. The Pew report recommends that, “healthcare organizations—including health information networks—should consider incorporating referential matching into their processes given that this approach has generated among the highest match rates currently published.”

Referential matching can deliver much higher match success rates than existing matching approaches within a health enterprise – either by correcting an existing matching system or by becoming the matching system of record. But more importantly, referential matching allows a health enterprise to immediately see which patients they have in common with other health enterprises using the same referential matching engine, without the need for additional systems and technology to be acquired and implemented.

“A referential matching service should be offered to U.S. health organizations as a national utility and be part of the nationwide technical architecture to support interoperability,” said Verato’s LaRow. “Health information networks would use this referential matching utility for matching patient records across each other’s networks. Doing so would establish a national patient record locator service. This approach would not require a massive overhaul of systems at the local hospital level; health enterprises participating in these networks could maintain their existing technologies, processes, and governance standards, yet reap the benefit of maintaining high patient match rates when attempting to find their patients’ records at other healthcare facilities.”

Referential matching is a proven technology, with Verato’s customers including leading providers, payers, and health information exchanges (HIEs) like the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Northwell Health, Intermountain Healthcare, Healthix, Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), and San Diego Health Connect (SDHC).

To learn more about The Pew Charitable Trust’s research and to read “Enhanced Patient Matching Is Critical to Achieving Full Promise of Digital Health Records,” visit

About Verato

Verato offers a cloud-based matching platform that links and matches identities across disparate databases or organizations with the highest accuracy rates in the industry. Verato leverages an extensive self-learning database of U.S. identities as a reference, or universal answer key. And because it is cloud-based, the Verato platform is less expensive, faster to implement, and more scalable than traditional matching technology. Verato is based in McLean, VA.