AHIMA's Advocacy and Policy Efforts

Patient education and access to information are two significant focuses of AHIMA’s policy and advocacy work. To accurately tell a patient’s story, we need to start with the correct identification of the patient. But as electronic health records become more common, incorrect patient matching becomes a greater risk and a potential cause of costly or even dangerous mistakes. AHIMA believes a public-private collaboration on a national voluntary patient safety identifier is the solution to the problem of patient matching. Work on this issue is core to our work toward the betterment of patient safety and access to health information.

In March, AHIMA launched the MyHealthID campaign and a petition asking the White House to lift the federal budget ban that prohibits the US Department of Health and Human Services from participating in efforts to find a patient identification solution. Through media attention, in-person meetings with legislators, and new partners gained during the petition effort, AHIMA laid the groundwork for progress with Congress — a must for making this change.

You can learn more about patient matching in articles in the Journal of AHIMA and Perspectives in Health Information Management.