Patient Matching Is a Top Priority for CIOs at Nation’s Leading Healthcare Organizations, Imprivata Survey Finds

Chief Information Officers (CIOs) at the nation’s leading healthcare organizations overwhelmingly rate patient matching among their very highest priorities, according to survey data recently released by Imprivata, underscoring the critical role positive patient identification plays in ensuring patient safety and protecting patient data.

The survey, conducted for Imprivata by, garnered insights into patient matching from CIOs representing 55 hospitals and other healthcare organizations across the country. The resulting data reveals just how serious the patient matching challenge is for hospitals, with nearly one-half of respondents (42 percent) saying that patient matching is among their very highest priorities. An additional 24 percent said that patient matching is not currently a top priority, but it should be.

The survey comes as the healthcare industry increasingly recognizes the broad implications of patient misidentification, which has both clinical and financial effects throughout the hospital.

In busy healthcare facilities, patient identification can be challenging due to outdated systems, duplicate medical records, human errors, and miscommunication. Many hospitals still rely on methods that do not guarantee accurate patient identification such as a person’s date of birth or a health insurance card. While many industry leaders have attempted to find a solution to achieve positive patient identification, 30 percent of survey respondents said their institutions still experienced mismatched patient records (e.g., internal duplicates or overlays) more than 6 percent of the time. An alarming number of CIOs – 18 percent – acknowledged that they didn’t even know the percentage of duplicate records within their organization.

These numbers jumped when records passed between institutions, with 38 percent of CIOs indicating that patient misidentification took place more than 6 percent of the time, and 38 percent saying they don’t even know the rate of duplicate records taking place between institutions.

Other survey highlights include:

  • 17 percent say patient harm has in fact occurred at their institution because of patient misidentification;
  • 40 percent say their institution suffered a privacy breach as a direct result of a patient matching error;
  • 81 percent say a National Patient Identifier (NPI) is essential to solving the patient matching problem;
  • 91 percent say a lower percentage of duplicate records would be the leading indication of success of a patient matching initiative within their organization.

As healthcare organizations consider ways to address the challenge of positive patient identification, biometrics continues to provide an excellent solution. 75% of survey respondents favored biometric recognition as the best methodology for patient identification and electronic medical record matching, especially because the likelihood of a false positive with biometrics is about one in 10 million.

Imprivata PatientSecure is the leading positive patient identification solution for healthcare that uses palm-vein biometrics to create a 1:1 match between individual patients and their unique medical records. Not only do biometrics reduce the risk of patient misidentification, but organizations have reported that they have improved their revenue cycle, optimized cost savings, reduce patient check-in times and increased overall patient and physician satisfaction

To discover more findings from the survey, please see our press release here.