Indiana University’s Regenstrief Institute to develop and test an automated patient identification tool

A five-year grant from AHRQ will fund the development of new patient matching software.

Backed by a $2.5 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Indiana University’s Regenstrief Institute is building a new automated tool to accurately match patient records.

The five-year grant given to the Regenstrief’s Center for Biomedical Informatics will allow researchers to develop and test the tool in a real-world setting using the Indiana Network for Patient Care, the largest inter-organizational health data repository in the country, according to an announcement.

Patient matching has emerged as a key concern within the health IT community as EHR adoption has increased, and lawmakers have included requirements around patient matching in the latest budget talks.

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“Our work will help electronic medical record systems better and more accurately bring together a patient's information,” CBMI Director Shaun Grannis, M.D., the principal investigator for the AHRQ grants said, noting that as many as half of all patient records are mismatched, creating serious implications for patient safety.

Investigators with the Regenstrief Institute plan to use the state’s database to evaluate new algorithms and methods to standardize patient data. Their work and any software they create will be open source.