Saturday, August 18, 2012

UR xactly who I thought U were!

I wondered what I was going to blog about this week and what kept coming to my mind was someone's comment a while back about how presumptuous the title of my blog was.

I initially titled it as a theme on the first impressions that we make on others peoples lives. It was a play on how we behave in the business world, driving around town, or at the grocery store that determines the "characteristic impression marks" that we leave on those that are watching us. Some are watching consciously; and some unconsciously. I know that when I see someone's behavior (positive or negative) it affects me in some way throughout the day. 

It by no means means that first impressions determines who you are. Who knows, possibly you could just be having a bad day, a giddy day, or just had a life changing experience that alters your behavior. But at the essential core of your being, you are who you are; or "I yam what I yam and tha's all what I yam." *

I spent a few hours filtering through a provider data base to prepare for an outreach marketing message and was amazed how there is going to be a major effort to get a Master Patient Index (MPI) developed and maintained. 

How would an Health Information Exchange (HIE) determine a John Smith vs. a Jon Smith, or a J. Smithe? Or if there is a William Sydney or Sydney William? What would happen if a clerk misspelled my name or my email address? I am very appreciative that there are algorithms out there that will help process the other related personal information so that the community can determine the exact person - because in the area of health information exchange, it needs to be surgically precise. 

Thus the reason that clinical providers always verbally ask your name, birth date, address, and medical procedure, after checking your ID and visually making sure you are who you are. Primum non nocere (first, do no harm).

In the next few months, I am looking forward to getting a absolute, clear understanding of this process so that by next year this feature will be available. It is going to take a lot of work and a lot of effort but I believe that if HIEs can build this correctly, it will last for generations.


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