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Identity Crisis: an Examination of the Costs and Benefits of a Unique Patient Identifier for the U.S. Health Care System

Author: Hillestad, Richard; Bigelow, James H; Chaudhry, Basit ; Dreyer, Paul; Greenberg, Michael D; Meili, Robin C; Ridgely, M Susan; Rothenberg, Jeff; Taylor, Roger

Source: RAND Corporation

Publication Date: October 20, 2008

This study finds that the use of a universal patient identifier should reduce errors and improve interoperability without significantly increasing security and privacy risks.

Identity Crisis: Approaches to Patient Identification in a National Health Information Network

Author: Hillestad, Richard; Bigelow, James H; Chaudhry, Basit ; Dreyer, Paul; Greenberg, Michael D; Meili, Robin C; Ridgely, M Susan; Rothenberg, Jeff; Taylor, Roger

Source: RAND Corporation

Publication Date: October 20, 2008

This research brief summarizes an analysis and comparison of two methods of patient identification — statistical matching and unique patient identifier — on error rates, operational efficiency, costs, and privacy and security issues.