Added value of ICW’s solutions for unique patient identification

Reliable patient identification is a prerequisite for every cross-enterprise data exchange

Collaborative treatment processes call for uncomplicated exchange of data between treating physicians at a wide variety of facilities. Reliable and unique identification of the patients plays a key role, along with the technical interoperability of the different information systems. Various manufacturers offer systems that provide simple solutions for linking patient numbers, but clients often find their quality and cost unsatisfactory. The modules in the ICW eHealth Suite offer a powerful stand-alone Master Patient Index (MPI) that uses an advanced probability-based algorithm to compare and link patient data. In more than 20 international projects, the Master Patient Index has been continually refined and adapted to the needs of various healthcare systems. The MPI currently boasts one of the most powerful matching algorithms on the market, and is used to manage over 25 million patients worldwide. The Master Patient Index’s matching functions guarantee that you will always have the right information for the right patient at hand.

Powerful algorithm

One of the major problems in unique patient identification is the variable quality of the data within information systems. The Master Patient Index module therefore employs various algorithms to standardize data, recognize alternate spellings and data entry errors, and account for incomplete data when assessing the similarity of two patient data records. Using the calculated similarity value and configurable threshold values, the Master Patient Index automatically links matching patient data, or else creates a new golden record.

Adaptable, flexible, individual

Every client’s project is different. Not only do the use cases vary, but patient information differs a great deal between facilities. To accommodate these individual situations, ICW’s Master Patient Index can be flexibly adapted to the client’s needs and environment. All the parameters for calculating the similarity of master datasets and for the comparison algorithms, the standardization strategies, and the threshold values for automatic matching of a given patient’s master data can be individually configured and fine-tuned. It is also possible to define specific rules to supplement the probability-based algorithm and fit the unique circumstances of each individual facility.

Greater transparency and higher data quality

Match quality is crucial to the success of any project. Misassignments must be all but eliminated. Unnecessary duplicate records also mean that not all of the patient’s information will be available when needed. Depending on data quality, a well-configured matching algorithm can automatically decide whether or not patient datasets should be matched up to 98 percent of the time. In the remaining cases, where there is insufficient similarity in the data, the decision should be made by the patient administration staff. The Patient Quality Manager module provides a web-based user interface for this purpose, with a full array of tools including task lists and decision aids. Staff at central or local clearinghouses are thus able to compare patient master data and assign them manually to a suggested unique patient identity with very little effort. This creates transparency and trust in the Master Patient Index’s capabilities.

Versatility increases benefits, creates synergies and secures investments

The Master Patient Index in ICW’s eHealth Suite is a powerful stand-alone solution that can be deployed in a wide range of use cases and exchange scenarios, unlike integrated matching functionalities. No matter whether the situation involves directed communication (such as sending orders and reports back and forth between outside facilities and a radiology department), or a cross-campus exchange of patient data between different networked systems for joint billing purposes, or compiling a cross-enterprise electronic patient record: All of these scenarios can be handled with a single solution centered around the ICW eHealth Suite.

Simple and easy to integrate

The Master Patient solution supports the latest communication standards and interface technologies, enabling quick and easy integration into existing system landscapes. ICW’s solution supports a wide variety of interfaces based on HL7 Version 2, all the relevant IHE profiles including PIX (Patient Identifier Cross Referencing), PDQ (Patient Demographics Query) and XCPD (Cross-Community Patient Discovery), as well as the new HL7-FHIR interfaces. This means that adopting the ICW Master Patient Index can take just a few weeks from kickoff to go-live.


Summary of benefits

  • Over 10 years of project experience with more than 20 satisfied customers around the world
  • Advanced matching methods and an extensive array of functions
  • Numerous standards-compliant interfaces, such as IHE, HL7 and FHIR
  • Support for a wide range of use cases
  • Solution continually evolves with you and your requirements
  • Short implementation phase (short project durations averaging less than three months)