Tuesday, November 10, 2020

AHIMA House of Delegates 2020 Meeting: Synopsis on Strategic Pathfinder Session The Future of Patient Matching

 by Shelia Robertson, RHIA

The 74th House of Delegates meeting was nothing less than exciting this year!  In my session, The Future of Patient Matching, facilitated by Melany Merryman, MSL, RHIA and Lauren Riplinger, JD, we discussed various ways how to propel AHIMA to the forefront of patient matching. Some asked the question, "Why AHIMA?" Our response was, "Why not AHIMA!?" We are a global organization that represents over 1 billion health information professionals.  We have to take a proactive approach and advocate at an organization, local and state level.  We examined what we as health information professionals can be doing now to better identify our patients and lower our duplication record rates. We determined that working with the EHR developers; having a voice, performing regular system clean-up, educating organizations and getting PAS and Registration involved would be a terrific start. We discussed how educating the front-line staff is critical. We determined that what we were missing was financing, having a seat at the table with EHR developers, data steward positions, that we must be agile, and innovative. We also felt that if we could show how harmful this is to patients our facilities would invite us to the table. In five years, the future of Patient Matching looks like EHR standardization but we must look back and learn from the past. We should look into patients registering themselves and what that training would look like. Bio Scanning is also another area, which I personally feel is the way to the future we should explore. 

For more information, visit 
Patient ID Now. A coalition of leading healthcare organizations, including AHIMA, have created the Patient ID Now to help move this initiative forward through Congress. Patient ID Now, a coalition of leading healthcare organizations,


About the Author 

Shelia Robertson, RHIA is the currently a 2nd Year Delegate on the OHIMA FY 2020-21 Board of Directors.  Shelia is a Supervisor in the Release of Information department at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio.