Inside CHIME: National Patient ID Challenge – Game On!
|1.21.16 by Matthew Weinstock
Director of Communications and Public Relations, CHIME
The wait is over. CHIME’s patient ID initiative kicks off with a bang, including endorsements by patient safety leaders and the head of ONC.
Near the end of her remarks endorsing the CHIME National Patient ID Challenge, National Patient Safety Foundation President and CEO Tejal Gandhi, M.D., succinctly framed the issue that spurred creation of a $1 million global competition: “I am here to support this initiative today because patient misidentification is a preventable event.”
It’s that simple. Or, as CHIME President and CEO Russell Branzell likes to say, we can do better.
The CHIME National Patient ID Challenge officially launched during a January 19 press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Along with Gandhi, Branzell was joined by CHIME Board of Trustees Chair Marc Probst; Nidhi Chaudhary, vice president of challenge success, HeroX, CHIME’s partner in the competition; and Karen DeSalvo, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology and acting assistant secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.
Needless to say, it was a pretty stellar lineup. Probst, Gandhi and DeSalvo put the issue of patient identification into context. Gandhi emphasized the implications on patient safety. Probst, vice president and CIO at Intermountain Healthcare, also highlighted the impact on patient care, and noted that as recently as five years ago, the Salt Lake City-based health system was spending between $4 million and $5 million annually to fix patient identification problems in their record system. Misidentification can also have a huge impact on billing and finance, he said.
For her part, DeSalvo said that the federal government can’t advance delivery system transformation on its own; the private sector needs to be a part of the solution, especially when it comes to using technology to advance better and more efficient care.
“This patient identification challenge is a perfect example of how people and organizations like CHIME can step up and show leadership and help us to get to a place that we know we all want to be,” DeSalvo said.
Citing other examples of successful challenges not just in HeroX’s past, but throughout history, Chaudhary said that these types of competitions “create a sense of urgency for critical issues and invite people with just the spark of an idea to nurture and develop it.”
Branzell acknowledged that the CHIME National Patient ID Challenge will not solve all of the problems associated with interoperability and health IT, but it is a cornerstone issue, and one that probably should have been addressed before we started down the path of digitizing healthcare.
“It will be a catalyst; a huge jump for us to change an industry and empower patients,” he said.
Click here to view the full event, which runs about 40 minutes.
Since the challenge opened on Tuesday, 43 competitors have already signed up. Click here to learn more about the challenge.
PHOTOS FROM THE PRESS CONFERENCE: