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“That team is doing the research and determining if it is a situation where two people were merged inappropriately, in an overlay situation, or if it is really one person that has multiple records,” Westhafer says.
Because each ancillary area at Christiana Care conducts patient registration, duplicate and overlay MPI cases are compiled by HIM and separated by the specific ancillary area where the error occurred.
At Peninsula, MPI duplication rates were so high that in 2007 the HIM department staff formed a committee and began direct education with registrars.
At that time, Peninsula’s registration staff was not taking enough time to accurately select or create MPI numbers.
Accurate registration helps keep patient data complete and clean as it moves throughout the organization.
HIM staff struggled to fix the resulting duplicate accounts being entered into the system each day.
“We were processing 60 duplicates a week,” Kravec recalls.
Error-ridden MPIs also hamper an organization’s ability to understand its patient population and its own performance, both for internal and external reporting.
Patient information spread across multiple records can distort measures of patient severity and overall risk of mortality. HIM departments often are the hub of identifying and mitigating registration errors.