Sep 12, 2023

East Tennessee Health Information Network (etHIN) Solves Duplicate Records Problem with Help of 4medica

MARINA DEL REY, Calif., Sept. 12, 2023 – 4medica®, a renowned healthcare data quality leader specializing in enterprise master person index (eMPI) matching technology and real-time interoperability, today announced that they have assisted etHIN with their work in management of duplicate patient records at East Tennessee Health Information Network (etHIN).


“Our 104 member organizations depend on us to provide complete and accurate patient medical records. By addressing patient matching issues, etHIN strives to provide the most accurate and comprehensive data for our clinician participants to best support their effective and efficient patient care treatment activities, “said Pam Matthews, CEO and executive director of etHIN.

4medica began work in December 2022 on etHIN’s Enterprise Master Patient Index (eMPI), which comprised more than 6 million records and included 2.7 million total patient identities.


“etHIN’s eMPI was typical of health information exchanges, with a large number of duplicate and overlaid records that can impact a participating organization’s ability to access accurate and quality patient data,” said Gregg Church, president of 4medica.


Headquartered in Knoxville, etHIN contains records of patients from all 95 Tennessee counties who have been treated in the eastern part of the state, along with patient records from other states and outside the United States.

4medica identified and met etHIN’s targeted duplicate rate reduction of 0.39% or 7,411 unmatched identities, an excellent eMPI clean-up accomplishment. Leveraging 4medica’s analysis, etHIN is working with its participants to ensure data consistency and quality at the data source.


It is common for health information exchanges to have duplicate patient records due to the data received from their data sources. eMPI mistakes commonly occur at patient registration locations and other points of data entry. While staffers at hospitals, clinics, labs and practices strive to locate information on a patient that may already be in their systems, they may opt to create a new record rather than spend valuable time searching.

This newly created record may lack important clinical information found with an existing record, which will not be added to the new record without human intervention. Bottom line: whichever of these two records a provider accesses will give them an incomplete view of the patient.


This not only introduces patient safety issues, but it also leads to higher healthcare costs as tests and procedures are redone because clinicians lacked access to complete patient records. Duplicate patient records cost healthcare organizations nearly $2,000 per inpatient stay and $800 per emergency department visit, according to a Black Book survey, while 30-40% of claims denials can be traced to wrong patient demographics and eligibility errors.

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