The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and HeroX have launched a $1 million challenge for the development of new technology to improve patient identification in healthcare. According to a blog post on the CHIME/HeroX website, a significant number of preventable medical errors come from incorrectly identifying patients as they move through the health system.
The organizations want to develop a more efficient national system for identifying patients in order to reduce misdiagnoses and other issues. The challenge requires developers to come up with a solution that provides a unique identifier for each patient that matches to their medical records and history correctly every time. This identifier will work much like a social security number in that it will be transferable among health providers.
CHIME/HeroX Spokesman Brenden Harkness writes in the blog post that as healthcare providers have shifted from paper-based recordkeeping to electronic health records, the incidence of error has increased, leading to the creation of this challenge. Every time an error happens, providers spend thousands of dollars fixing the mistake in addition to time spent by staffers. Both organizations say that a national patient identifier will make the remaining migration over to a digital health system easier to accomplish while making care safer and cheaper.
Developers have until April of this year to submit ideas for the first part of the challenge. The grand prize winner will be announced in February of next year. The full details including a submission form are available on the HeroX website.