Project US@’s goal is to issue a unified, cross-SDO, healthcare industry-wide specification for representing patient address
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.
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
From July 1 - 31, 2021, X12, the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP), and Health Level Seven International (HL7) provided an opportunity to comment on the Project US@ DRAFT v1.0 Technical Specification.
The optimal solution to accurately matching patient records is a combination of technology, processes, and people. ONC is partnered 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 were ideally positioned to partner with on the development of this Companion Guide.
Carmen Smiley, Project Co-Lead, ONC email@example.com
Wanda Govan-Jenkins, Project Co-Lead, ONC firstname.lastname@example.org
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. AHIMA (2022) Patient Naming Policy, Recommended Data Elements for Capture in the Master Patient Index (MPI). https://ahima.org/media/mezosx50/2022-naming-policy-v3-1-21-22.pdf
5. For more information on AHIMA, see https://www.ahima.org/