Pew Charitable Trusts: Flaws in patient records hinder COVID-19 response

The Pew Charitable Trusts penned a letter to the US Congress leaders, calling on the US Congress to address difficulties in the identification and matching of patient records in order to successfully trace infected individuals and eventually administer vaccinations. The organisation urged Congress to work with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the US Postal Services (USPS) to ensure that these agencies are using all available tools they have to effectively trace contacts and immunisations. The letter pointed out that healthcare professionals spend a significant amount of time in identifying and matching patient records due to flaws in registered data. To overcome this, the organisation presented two key steps: adding more data elements in (non-)electronic health records and standardising data elements.