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San Diego Health Connect leverages identity validation to improve patient matching

After facing an unacceptable 70 percent patient matching rate, the San Diego Health Connect health information exchange said it has turned its performance around using identity validation technology to better match patients and in the process clean up its master patient index.

Its current patient matching rate is 98 percent.

"To a certain degree, we caused the problem ourselves," said Dan Chavez, executive director of San Diego Health Connect. "We use very strict matching criteria. Not every HIE uses the strict matching criteria we do. We require a 100 percent match on six variables to automatically match patients. Other HIEs make the governance decision not to match on such strict criteria. If you loosen the rules in probabilistic and deterministic matching, you can have a higher rate. We want the machine to do as much as possible, but we don’t make it easy because we want the faith and trust that what comes out of the HIE is 100 percent correct."

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