Unique Patient Identifier U.P.I.
Unique Patient Identifier- Explained
Although the United States rates at the top when it comes to medical treatment of patients, there are other factors that have to be considered. These other factors are where we fail when it comes to patients and their personal information. With every operating system performing differently, there are plenty of opportunities for patient files to be forgotten when they move, and more of their information is left vulnerable to identity thieves. This is where a unique patient identifier benefits every single patient in the United States. There are many benefits to having one number access everything in your file, and it means that there is less concern with your personal information getting into the wrong hands.
Unique patient identifiers are barcodes that are given to each individual. With every individual having their own unique identification for medical purposes, the information that is provided will be more secure and it is not tied in any way to their social security number. This makes for added security without providing any identifying information to those that do not need it. It also allows for more portable medical information for those individuals that are on the go all of the time. This means that traveling across country no longer means that you have to worry about anything happening without proper medical records with you, and it also means that your own doctor will have all of the information that they need when you get back without you having to do a single thing.
A unique patient identifier would allow clinics all over the country to link a patients records, so that no matter where a person moved, the new doctor would still be able to properly diagnose a patient with complete medical history. With a unique barcode for every individual, there is no need to worry about looking for account numbers and missing files that might be under a different last name. This gives each person the knowledge that they are getting treatment from a doctor that is fully knowledgeable on their history so that nothing is overlooked, no matter where in the country that they are. Having unique patient identifiers also provides doctors with an up to date list of all allergies and current medications with a simple keystroke. This ensures that there are no medicine interactions that could have been prevented.
Unique Patient Identifier- The Benefits
The benefits of a unique patient identifier include more than the accessibility of a patients medical history, however. There is also personal information to protect. With all of the information being contained in barcodes, there is nothing that can be stolen by those looking for information they can take advantage of. In the event that any of the medical information is compromised, a new number can be issued much easier than a new social security number can be, and it will be much easier to remedy the information that has gotten into the wrong place. Although there is no guarantee that a file will never be misplaced, having the information computerized can make putting it back where it goes much easier to accomplish.
Identity theft happens every single day, and there are plenty of ways that those thieves can get your information. From your social security number to your birthday or address, your personal information is vulnerable to anyone that feels the need to take it. With a unique patient identifier, all of that information is kept hidden, and there is nothing for them to steal from you. It also makes getting your medical information easier on any doctor that you might need to see, and most importantly, will provide better care for many patients. With easy access to medical records, doctors can provide proper treatment based on all of the information that is available and not just what they can see in their office. There are drawbacks to having unique patient identifiers, but the benefits outweigh these drawbacks by far.
Unique Patient Identifier- Obstacles
One of the greatest roadblocks to implementing unique patient identifiers is the initial cost to set them up. Even though it cost more initially then any program that is currently being used, once implementation is complete it can triple the savings for every office that uses it. The cost should not be a concern where patients are involved, however. The patient should be comfortable in the knowledge that their information is being kept confidential, and knowing that they are going to receive the best medical treatment possible simply because all of their medical records are easily within reach of the doctor that they are seeing. Regardless of any name changes that occur or how many times you might change addresses, all of the information is right there. Unique patient identifiers may be simply a barcode that holds all of your medical information, but they also hold the key to confidentiality and better healthcare for every patient.
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We hope this explained Unique Patient Identifier to you.