When Are Patient Registration Errors Most Likely to Occur?

A John Hopkin’s study titled: Implementing and Sustaining Improvement in Healthcarefound that an astounding 92% of patient identity errors occur at the time of the registration process. The registration process is understandably complex and requires great attention to detail. However, a busy waiting room, unfamiliar temporary staff, or inadequate workflow procedures can result in duplicate records or complete patient misidentification. The John’s Hopkins study determined that inadequate emphasis was placed on the process of patient identification in the registrar training materials. Types of patient registration errors you are likely to see Patient registration errors can appear in several ways: General misidentification can lead to duplicate records in the EHR system. Patients often present with different names at different times (Robert at one time and Bob the next). This inconsistency can also lead to duplicate records or patient misidentification. Several studies have indicated that errors happen more frequently with foreign names. They found that Hispanic, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Navajo and Arabic names were more likely to be false positives in their analyses of duplicate records. The authors suggested that it was likely that ethnic names, unfamiliar to registration clerks and other hospital staff, would have increased occurrences of misspellings. Also, the fields for each person’s name consisted of a first name, middle name, and last name, which may be unsuitable in many cultures. 2016 ECRI study found that over half of patient misidentification dealt with either diagnostic procedures (36.5%)or treatment (22%). Documentation problems accounted for an additional 10%. Cost of patient registration errors Patient registration errors can lead to medical errors which are both physically harmful to the patient and financially harmful to the healthcare provider. Permanente of Southern California has over 10,000 records of people named Maria Gonzales. HIMSS has estimated that 8-14% [...]