Over the years, I have found that many working in imaging informatics understand the basics of how patient identity is managed in healthcare information systems. In today’s Consolidated Enterprises, where the historic imaging exam data for a given person may be indexed by many different patient identities, and perhaps cross-referenced by an Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI), ensuring that all a patient’s records are accurately associated with the correct Patient Identity (ID) requires understanding of the information models and values that may be in use at the enterprise. Along with the strategy and vision for how Patient IDs will be managed in future.
New data acquired in other enterprises continues to come into an enterprise’s imaging IT systems. From data migration associated with system consolidation (for example, as part of organizational merger or acquisition activities) to programs that involve data exchange—such as importing outside exams prior to appointments, teleradiology, or the sharing of systems with affiliates—ensuring that your imaging IT systems can safely and reliably handle all the potential complexities is important.
In the JDI article, “Patient Identity Management Maturity Model (PIM3) for Imaging Information Technology Systems” (Note: access to the Journal of Digital Imaging, such as that provided by SIIM membership, is required) a maturity model for assessing both an enterprise’s needs (today and potentially in future) and the capabilities of a given imaging IT system is proposed.
The intent is to establish a simple, hierarchical model by which both healthcare system operators and vendors can easily match needs with capabilities.
In addition to the proposed model, the paper provides an overview of many patient identity management concepts, data standards, along with challenges and potential methods of addressing them. Those interested in simply learning more about patient ID management in imaging informatics and IT systems may find the paper informative.