As a founding member of the Patient ID Now Coalition, HIMSS invites the healthcare community to participate in Patient ID Day on March 24 by voicing support for a national patient identification strategy.
Patient ID Day is a virtual advocacy day on Capitol Hill committed to bringing attention to the critical challenges of patient misidentification in the United States health system and to ensure progress continues on patient identification and matching.
As Congress works to create the Fiscal Year 2022 spending bills, HIMSS encourages everyone to contact their members of Congress and urge them to repeal Section 510 of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (Labor-HHS). This provision is an archaic piece of the federal budget that has prevented the HHS from working with the private sector to develop a nationwide patient identification strategy.
For nearly two decades, innovation and progress around patient identification and matching has been stifled due to broad interpretation of Section 510. Removing this language would provide HHS the ability to evaluate a range of solutions and enable HHS to work with the private sector to identify a complete national strategy that protects patient privacy and is cost-effective, scalable and secure.
The COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination efforts have highlighted the urgent need to lift the outdated ban. Accurate patient identification is one of the most difficult operational issues during a public health emergency, including the collection of patient demographic information and the implementation of a method to ensure that the information remains attached to the patient.
Urge your senators to allow for a national strategy around patient identification to improve patient safety and outcomes.