Overcoming Challenges of Merging Multiple Patient Identification and Matching Systems: A Case Study

Academic Article


  • Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center (RMC) in Anniston, Alabama purchased a smaller hospital in 2017. Staff at the two hospitals were tasked with merging the two Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems into one unified system. From the outset, there were two systems with different medical record number specifications and patient identification systems as well as two different patient name parameters. The merging of these records and systems meant dealing with different vendor EMR systems and ancillary systems to produce a single unified record within RMC's EMR and the document imaging system that housed the legal medical record for each patient. This case study describes the process and procedures of merging the patient records from both hospitals to create one Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI); and the collaboration between the Health Information Management and Information Technology departments to accomplish this goal. It also reviews the impact and challenges related to the system's development, as well as lessons learned while completing the project.
  • Authors

    Author List

  • Crew D; Houser SH
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • Winter