- The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has suspended its $1 million patient identification challenge, saying the nearly two-year-old contest had not produced the results the group had hoped for.
- Instead, CHIME will focus its efforts on creating a Patient Identification Task Force through its CHIME Healthcare Innovation Trust affiliate.
- In a release, CHIME commended the innovators who participated in the challenge and urged them to participate in the task force.
“We firmly believe that accurate patient identification is fundamental to patient care today and that innovation will lead to better, more affordable, more accessible and more equitable care,” Russell Branzell, president and CEO of CHIME said in a statement. “Though we’ve made great progress and moved the industry forward in many ways through the challenge, we ultimately did not achieve the results we sought to this complex problem. We decided the best course for addressing this patient safety hazard is to redirect our attention and resources to another strategy.”
Patient identification is a serious patient safety issue, with errors impeding data exchange and interoperability. ECRI’s Patient Safety Organization counted 7,613 wrong patient events voluntarily reported by 181 healthcare organizations over an 18-month period in 2013-2015.
Earlier this year, a number of healthcare organizations wrote to Congress urging lawmakers to overturn a nearly two decades long ban on HHS funding and implementation of a national patient identifier. Proponents argued an NPI could help reduce mistakes by creating a means to identify individuals from birth throughout their lives.
While the 2018 budget bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee in July would allow HHS to advise industry groups on technical matters around patient matching and patient ID and tasks ONC and CMS with aiding private sector efforts to devise a “national strategy” for patient identification, it still maintains the federal funding ban.