Study Finds Benefits for Unique IDs

June 24, 2011
Creating a unique patient identification number for every person in the United States would facilitate a reduction in medical errors, simplify the

Creating a unique patient identification number for every person in the United States would facilitate a reduction in medical errors, simplify the use of electronic medical records, increase overall efficiency and help protect patient privacy, according to a RAND Corporation (Santa Monica, Calif.) study.

Although creating such a system could cost as much as $11 billion, the effort, the report says, would likely return even more in benefits to the nation’s healthcare system. Patient identifier adoption, the study says, would be to eliminate record errors, and help reduce repetitive and unneeded care.

The study, “Identity Crisis: An Examination of the Costs and Benefits of a Unique Patient Identifier for the U.S. Health Care System,” is available at online.

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