Accurate unique patients’ IDs are more than essential. Deviations from them can cause harm when using electronic sensors to observe patients’ physiological states are a common part of clinical treatment of patients, especially those critically ill. Recognising the importance of correct patient IDs in this context, the IHE Patient Care Device Technical Committee has published Point-of-Care Identity Management, a white paper for consultation. It considered comments submitted by 26 February 2017 and will now be moving on to finalise the proposals.
With devices providing routine and regular mission-critical data, clinicians must be able to rely on the accuracy, currency, completeness and routing of eMessages between these devices and systems. Where this fails, treatment may be harmful rather than helpful. The IHE concept of Device-Patient Association (DPA) is consistent with the five rights of medication administration, the right patient, drug, dose, route and time.
For devices, it translates into the right patient, devices and time. Every measurement must go to the right chart, every chart must have every measurement, and every device command affecting a patient must be sent to the correct device acting on that patient.
The white paper:
- Reviews use cases and system architectures in which electronic information exchanges about device-patient associations may and may not be beneficial
- Discusses risk analysis approaches that may be appropriate for institutions reviewing their risks of data misdirection due to incomplete, incorrect or untimely DPA assumptions
- Suggests basic eMessaging formats for reporting, collecting, disseminating and querying DPAs.
As Africa’s health systems expands in EHRs, mHealth and medical device investments, adopting and applying the IHE’s standards are crucial. The white paper’s a lot more than just essential reading.