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Project US@’s goal is to issue a unified, cross-SDO, healthcare industry-wide specification for representing patient address

Background

The Pew Charitable Trusts and other organizations have recently promoted the use of USPS Publication 28 as a way to increase address accuracy for the purposes of improved patient matching.1 These and other efforts indicate the potential for improved patient matching through the development and implementation of standards, noting the importance of successful matching in supporting patient safety, privacy and security, and decreased costs, among other benefits.  ONC received public comments on the use of USPS Publication 28 in response to a Request for Information (RFI) on patient matching in the 21st Century Cures Act proposed rule,2 which sought comment on additional opportunities that may exist in patient matching and ways that ONC can lead and contribute to coordination efforts with respect to patient matching; particularly in ways that accurate patient matching can facilitate improved patient safety, better care coordination, and advanced interoperability.

Description

ONC is collaborating with standards development organizations (SDOs), including members of the Health Standards Collaborative (HSC), and other interested stakeholders to issue a unified, cross-standards specification for patient address.  We are engaging a wide range of stakeholders to help ensure that there is broad agreement on Project US@’s resulting specification and build industry commitment around its implementation from the ground up.  Together, we hope to establish a lasting, industry-wide approach to representing patient address that is consistent across a spectrum of clinical and administrative transactions.3

Technical Specification

DRAFT v1.0 of the Project US@ Technical Specification was released on June 16, 2021. Check out our latest blog post on the release in the HealthIT Buzz.

Comment Period is open!

From July 1 - 31, 2021, X12, the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP), and Health Level Seven International (HL7) are providing an opportunity to comment on the Project US@ DRAFT v1.0 Technical Specification. 

Request for Comment

Comment Template

DRAFT v1.0 of the Project US@ Technical Specification for Review and Comment

AHIMA Companion Guide

The optimal solution to accurately matching patient records is a combination of technology, processes, and people. ONC is partnering with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) to develop a Project US@ Companion Guide containing operational guidance and best practices related to accurate and timely capture and management of patient addresses that support conformance to the Project US@ Technical Specification and improved patient matching. As a nonprofit association that represents health information professionals that work with health data for more than one billion patients per year, AHIMA4 and its members are ideally positioned to partner with on the development of this Companion Guide. The AHIMA Project US@ Companion Guide will be released with FINAL version 1.0 of the Project US@ Technical Specification at the end of 2021.

Interested in Joining Project US@?

Contact us!

Carmen Smiley, Project Co-Lead, ONC     carmen.smiley@hhs.gov

Wanda Govan-Jenkins, Project Co-Lead, ONC     wanda.govan-jenkins@hhs.gov


1. See https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2019/09/standardized-demographic-data-improve-patient-matching-in-electronic-health-records

2. See 84 FR 7554, https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2019-02224/p-1600

3. Posnack, S. (2020, Dec 1) Say “Hey!” to Project US@ – a Unified Specification for Address in Health Care. Health IT Buzz. https://www.healthit.gov/buzz-blog/health-it/say-hey-to-project-us-a-unified-specification-for-address-in-health-care

4. For more information on AHIMA, see https://www.ahima.org/

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