Identifying health facilities outside the enterprise: Challenges and strategies for supporting health reform and meaningful use

Brian E. Dixon, Cyril Colvard, William M. Tierney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To support collation of data for disability determination, we sought to accurately identify facilities where care was delivered across multiple, independent hospitals and clinics. Methods: Data from various institutions' electronic health records were merged and delivered as continuity of care documents to the United States Social Security Administration (SSA). Results: Electronic records for nearly 8000 disability claimants were exchanged with SSA. Due to the lack of standard nomenclature for identifying the facilities in which patients received the care documented in the electronic records, SSA could not match the information received with information provided by disability claimants. Facility identifiers were generated arbitrarily by health care systems and therefore could not be mapped to the existing international standards. Discussion: We propose strategies for improving facility identification in electronic health records to support improved tracking of a patient's care between providers to better serve clinical care delivery, disability determination, health reform and meaningful use. Conclusion: Accurately identifying the facilities where health care is delivered to patients is important to a number of major health reform and improvement efforts underway in many nations. A standardized nomenclature for identifying health care facilities is needed to improve tracking of care and linking of electronic health records.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-333
Number of pages15
JournalInformatics for Health and Social Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2015


  • Computer communication networks
  • controlled
  • health care reform
  • health facilities
  • health information exchange
  • vocabulary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)
  • Health Information Management

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