Client Registries: Identifying and Linking Patients

Timothy D. McFarlane, Brian E. Dixon, Shaun J. Grannis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


To integrate patient-centric data from multiple, separate sources, individual patient records must be accurately identified and linked. The absence of a universally applied unique patient identifier as well as heterogeneity of data format, availability, quality, and completeness across different eHealth systems and organizations hinders consistent patient identification. A client registry implements matching algorithms using available, unique patient identifiers and demographic attributes to link patient records residing in separate health care organizations within a health information exchange. The linkage process provides a single coherent, longitudinal health record for each patient, supporting tasks such as care coordination and research efforts. This chapter focuses on the issues related to developing unique patient identifiers, matching patient records, and the role the client registry plays in the process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHealth Information Exchange
Subtitle of host publicationNavigating and Managing a Network of Health Information Systems
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780128031506
ISBN (Print)9780128031353
StatePublished - Feb 11 2016


  • Client registry
  • Health information exchange
  • Master patient index
  • Patient matching
  • Record linkage
  • Unique patient identifier

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Client Registries: Identifying and Linking Patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    McFarlane, T. D., Dixon, B. E., & Grannis, S. J. (2016). Client Registries: Identifying and Linking Patients. In Health Information Exchange: Navigating and Managing a Network of Health Information Systems (pp. 163-182). Elsevier Inc..