Mismatched Patient Records: An Under-recognized and Growing Problem for Most Hospitals, Imprivata CIO Survey Finds

Addressing the patient matching problem a top priority, impacts are high-risk and need attention

Lexington, MA – May 9, 2018 – Imprivata®, the healthcare IT security company, today released data from a survey of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) at leading healthcare organizations, revealing that CIOs rate patient matching among their highest priorities but remain surprisingly unaware of the magnitude of the patient matching problem – both within their own institutions and between partner organizations.

Imprivata partnered on the CIO survey with healthsystemCIO.com, a leading healthcare industry publication exclusively dedicated to serving the information needs of hospital and health system CIOs. CIOs from 55 hospitals and other healthcare organizations provided insights into patient matching.

“This survey underscores the critical role positive patient identification plays in ensuring patient safety and protecting patient data. Misidentification of patients upon registration creates a ripple effect, with both clinical and financial consequences for hospitals and patients,” said Dr. Sean Kelly, Chief Medical Officer at Imprivata. “These survey results are especially concerning because patient misidentification is widely prevalent in busy healthcare facilities due to outdated systems, duplicate medical records, human errors, and miscommunication.”

The survey revealed just how serious the patient matching challenge is for hospitals, with 42 percent of respondents 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.

Despite this sensitivity to the problem, the survey exposed a startling lack of awareness regarding the size of the patient misidentification problem within each institution. When asked the percentage of mismatched patient records within their institution, 18 percent admitted that they simply did not know.

This lack of awareness grew when respondents were queried about external mismatched patient records, with 38 percent of respondents saying they did not know the percentage of external (between institutions) mismatched patient records that would impact their respective organizations.

The survey also reinforced the connection between patient misidentification and patient harm. 17 percent of survey respondents acknowledged that patient harm had actually occurred at their institution as the result of a patient matching error.

“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,” said Kelly. “By implementing a registration solution – such as biometric identification technology, including palm vein – that accurately identifies patients and matches them with their correct EMPI and EHR records, hospitals can reduce the very real risks highlighted in this survey.”

Imprivata PatientSecure uses palm vein biometrics to create a 1:1 match between a patient’s palm vein scan and their health record, preventing medical fraud and reducing the likelihood of human error. By ensuring the correct patients’ records are retrieved at registration, hospitals mitigate the risk of adverse events and medical errors from patient identification mistakes and patients experience higher satisfaction from a streamlined registration process.

About Imprivata
Imprivata®, the healthcare IT security company, provides healthcare organizations globally with a security and identity platform that delivers ubiquitous access, positive identity management, and multifactor authentication. Imprivata enables healthcare securely by establishing trust between people, technology, and information to address critical compliance and security challenges while improving productivity and the patient experience. For more information, please visit www.imprivata.com.

Media Contacts:
Kerry Pillion