SOURCE: MEDSEEK

February 27, 2007 08:00 ET

MEDSEEK Introduces Master Patient eID, a Noninvasive Healthcare IT Solution That Helps Hospitals Find and Correct Duplicate Patient Records

Western North Carolina Health Network Is First to Launch Solution

NEW ORLEANS, LA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 27, 2007 -- MEDSEEK announced today at the HIMSS Conference and Exhibition the introduction of its Master Patient eID solution, a patent-pending, HIPAA-compliant technology that identifies duplicate patient records in disparate hospital information systems without disruption to current clinical and business processes. Master Patient eID enables healthcare organizations to improve the healthcare process on many fronts, including enhanced patient safety, cleanup, corroboration and consolidation of duplicate medical records and more accurate billing processes. Western North Carolina Health Network (www.wnchn.org) is one of the first clients to go live on the solution at its health information exchange in western North Carolina.

MEDSEEK's experience working with hospitals and health systems across the country reveals that the issue of duplication among electronic patient records is widespread in individual hospitals, and percentages tend to rise dramatically for patient records captured in Regional Healthcare Information Organization (RHIO) databases.

Master Patient eID uses sophisticated probabilistic matching algorithms to help standalone hospitals and multi-facility health systems evaluate data across all patient systems. eID can determine whether separate electronic records for the same patient exist within the hospital's health information systems (HIS) master patient index (MPI), so that duplicate records can be consolidated into one patient account under a unique medical record number.

The ability to accurately associate all historical records for a particular patient helps caregivers become more aware of all past patient healthcare experiences, providing important knowledge for devising the best care plan possible. Such consolidation also provides hospital billing departments accurate data on which to base patient charges and efficiently respond to inquiries from health insurers regarding covered benefits, co-pays and deductibles.

Hospitals can also use Master Patient eID as a record locator tool, providing the ability to search across all available patient information systems to determine all the locations where a patient's clinical or administrative information is stored.

"The benefits of using Master Patient eID can be quickly realized, as its implementation does not require hospital personnel to alter their established workflow for entering and maintaining patient information," said Peter Kuhn, President of MEDSEEK. "Other technology solutions are much more invasive and disruptive in the way they go about managing duplicates." Master Patient eID operates the same way, regardless of the existing HIS, checking for duplicates after data entry, and displaying a percentage probability that a given record applies to the same patient already in the HIS. The hospital can then decide how to handle the discrepancy.

"Duplicates and mistakes occur in electronic medical records for a variety of reasons," said Kuhn. "It is a common scenario for patient admissions personnel in an emergency department to forego a search for previous admissions to the same hospital, creating a totally new patient record instead. This new record typically does not contain vital patient information, such as previous diagnoses, prescriptions and treatment plans."

Thus, clinicians may make medical decisions without seeing the complete patient history. Duplicates or incomplete records may also pose problems later, when the hospital generates an erroneous bill because some part of the patient's personal information was entered incorrectly upon admission or because records do not match up.

"Eliminating duplicate medical records, which can help us improve patient care, is a priority for our network hospitals," said Gary Bowers, executive director of WNCHN. "Master Patient eID is an advanced technology solution that makes it easier for our clinicians to find the information they need without confusion, enabling them to make the best treatment decisions possible.

"Given the volume of patients we see, eID has enormous potential for all of the 16 affiliated hospitals in our network," Bowers continued. "Implementing Master Patient eID was simple because we were able to use our existing patient indexing system and did not have to spend valuable hours retraining staff on new clinical and administrative procedures. The open-platform nature of the MEDSEEK software can mean considerable cost savings for any hospital and especially for a RHIO."

Hospitals can access the benefits of the Master Patient eID technology through three delivery models:

--  One-time "snapshot" analysis. The hospital supplies a data file
    containing standard HL7 messages for all patient accounts in the system or
    systems; MEDSEEK analyzes the records and produces an electronic report
    with probable duplicates.
    
--  "One time with Integration." MEDSEEK accesses the hospital's clinical
    data via secure VPN connection or other means and extracts the data for
    analysis.
    
--  Ongoing analysis. MEDSEEK installs the Master Patient eID software in
    the hospital data center. Hospital clinical and business experts can use
    eID on an ongoing basis to perform their own analysis and generate reports
    on demand.
    
"Hospitals, health systems and health information organizations are trying to make deeper connections with patients, physicians, employees, consumers and other entities they serve," says Mike Drake, president and CEO of MEDSEEK. "Master Patient eID is a versatile, powerful application that helps solve a problem common to virtually every healthcare delivery organization. Duplicate records and faulty data enter the system through human error, which can lead to significant mistakes and patient inconvenience down the line. Our solution presents an efficient way to find those errors and remove them permanently."

About WNCHN

The WNC Health Network is a collaboration of hospitals, county health departments, Mountain AHEC and other health care providers to support the delivery of cost-effective, quality health services to the Western North Carolina region. The Network's members include Angel Medical Center, CarePartners, Cherokee Indian Hospital, Harris Regional Medical Center, Haywood Regional Medical Center, Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, The McDowell Hospital, Mission Hospitals, Murphy Medical Center, Pardee Memorial Hospital, Park Ridge Hospital, Rutherford Hospital, Spruce Pine Community Hospital, St. Luke's Hospital, Swain County Hospital and Transylvania Community Hospital.

About MEDSEEK

Solvang, Calif.-based MEDSEEK provides healthcare organizations with online portal management technology for more efficient communication and interaction among institutions, caregivers and patients. MEDSEEK's comprehensive software platform, PortalMaker E, developed specifically for healthcare and the web, creates the infrastructure for more powerful internet, intranet, portal and mobile solutions. With a library of over 140 proven application interfaces, MEDSEEK also provides clinical integration, leveraging existing health information systems (HIS) applications to function as the central viewpoint for all patient data. MEDSEEK, which has been recognized on Deloitte & Touche's Los Angeles Technology Fast 50 list for five consecutive years, has more than 600 installed hospital clients, including Henry Ford Health System, Advocate Health, Cardinal Health System, Pediatrix Medical Group and the Cleveland Clinic. MEDSEEK also maintains offices in Alabama and Mississippi. For more visit www.medseek.com or call 888-MEDSEEK.

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