Unique Identification, Health Care, Protection of Personal Health Information, Upcoming Webinar

I have a friend in the neighborhood, and coincidentally he shares a name with another person who also lives in our neighborhood. As a joke, while I refer to my friend by his name (say for argument’s sake it is “Arnie Hollingsworth”), I refer to the other guy as “The Other Arnie Hollingsworth.”

Apparently, though, the local pharmacy doesn’t have the same sense of humor or sense of differentiation. My friend recently got a notice from the pharmacy that his prescription was about to run out and that he needed to come in to get it refilled Except that it wasn’t *his* prescription, it was a prescription for the Other Arnie Hollingsworth. And interestingly as well, it seems that a claim for that specific prescription had been submitted, but under my friend’s plan, not the other guy’s plan.

Here is the scenario: two people with the same first name, last name, and Zip code. Easy to confuse the two right? Not usually a problem, except that when it comes to health care management, this seems to me to be an exposure of the other guy’s personal health information. And all because of confusion due to the need to differentiate between two individuals based on a limited set of identifying attribute values.

OK, there is definitely a need for better data management in the healthcare space. That is one of the topics of an upcoming webinar I am doing with Informatica titled Let’s Talk Healthcare with Informatica: Evolving Quality Care through Data Quality Improvement”

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