ONC Releases Data Standard for Patient Addresses and Calls for Industry Implementation

The Health and Human Services Agency is urging healthcare providers, public health agencies and other organizations to consider adopting a new data standard for documenting patient addresses in healthcare.

The Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology on Friday released final draft [email protected], a technical specification designed as the industry standard for patient address data. ONC is working on a project [email protected] with IT organizations for standards development and healthcare since the launch of the project in early 2021.

ONC officials said they are urging state and federal agencies, public health organizations, payers, medical information technology developers, research organizations and healthcare providers to consider the project. [email protected] standard.

Although healthcare organizations should be able to exchange data about the current and previous addresses of patients, according to the ONC communication rule, they are not required to use a specific format.

This has been cited as a contributing factor to the ongoing problem of patient recruitment in the healthcare industry. Patients usually give their name, date of birth, and other demographic information to the registrar before visiting their doctor so that they can be matched against their existing medical record. But subtle inconsistencies in how this information is documented can complicate the process.

According to the ONC, if organizations use the same data standard for demographic data such as addresses, we hope this will help match patients to their medical records more accurately, as well as match medical records from different provider organizations.

Patient matching is critical to interoperability as hospitals cannot exchange medical records with each other unless they can pinpoint the appropriate record to exchange.

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“A standardized patient address may seem like a small thing, but that’s why this work was important,” said Steve Posnack, deputy national coordinator for healthcare IT at ONC. news release… “Improving the accuracy and consistency of addresses will have a big impact if implemented at scale.”

Project [email protected] The standard, developed by ONC in conjunction with standards development organizations such as Health Level 7, National Prescription Drug Programs Council and X12, describes how different parts of a patient’s address, such as address number and street name, should be formatted and shortened. and also what special characters can be used.

ONC will continue working on the project [email protected] in 2022, including tribal guidelines, geolocation data, and service provider and site addresses.

ONC also released on Friday “companion“with best practices and guidelines for collecting and managing patient address data, developed in partnership with the American Health Information Management Association.

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