A new initiative to create standards for specifications that could be used across the healthcare industry for patient addresses (mailing, physical, billing, etc.) to improve patient matching is being developed.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), in collaboration with standards development organizations (SDOs) and health IT stakeholders, released the Project US@ (‘Project USA’) Technical Specification Final Version 1.0.
Patient matching and specifically how patient addresses are represented has long been viewed as a critical component of nationwide interoperability and the nation’s health IT infrastructure. The availability of a unified, cross-SDO specification is a testament to the broad industry engagement behind this effort. Now that a specification exists, ONC encourages state and federal agencies, public health organizations, payers, health IT developers, research organizations, healthcare providers, and all other interested stakeholders to consider adopting and implementing the final specification.
“A standardized patient address might seem like a small thing, but that’s precisely why this work was important. Improving the accuracy and consistency of addresses will have a big impact if implemented at scale,” said Steve Posnack, deputy national coordinator for health IT. “I am grateful to the SDOs, federal partners, and health IT stakeholders who all joined in to rapidly develop this new specification.”
Also available is the Project US@ Companion Guide developed by and in collaboration with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). This resource provides operational best practices related to accurate and timely capture and management of patient addresses developed in Project US@ Technical Specification Final Version 1.0.