The New Jersey Innovation Institute, an NJIT corporation, in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Health has launched technology called the Master Person Index, designed to securely connect and share patient information under the New Jersey Health Information Network.
NJHIN offers the ability to seamlessly connect medical records across all health care providers, ensuring the information is accurate, up-to-date and secure.
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center is in a unique position to participate because of its specialized service line in Behavioral Health. For example, if a patient arrives in the emergency department requiring acute behavioral health services and is subsequently admitted for inpatient care, having access to their complete medical records ensures treatment decisions are made based on the patient’s medical history. This prevents a patient from receiving care that could negatively affect them or run counter to treatment received by other providers.
In a press release, NJHIN said that it employs a two-tiered Master Person Index that identifies an individual with multiple records, even when they are maintained by different providers and health systems. This is accomplished, according to NJHIN, through a verification process that separates such records and then matches them to a single person by assigning them a “common key.”
Interoperability, or the capacity to share patient information across electronic health records and networks, is the goal of this statewide index, with nationwide expansion being the ultimate objective.
“Bergen New Bridge Medical Center has been a pioneer in several NJHIN projects, including being the first organization to transmit data through the system,” said Van Zimmerman, executive director of the NJHIN. “Joining 62 of the 71 hospitals in the state, they have stepped up to move New Jersey forward in the interoperability movement by signing on to participate in the Master Person Index and Common Key Service Use Cases.”
“This data exchange network has successfully identified patients and maintained data quality and security,” said Health Commissioner, Dr. Shereef Elnahal in a statement. “The Master Person Index gives medical professionals the ability to accurately identify patients and link critical medical information to their records, regardless of where care is provided. This improves safety, reduces medical errors and duplicative testing, helps prevent fraud and reduces health care spending,” Elnahal said.