CHIME names winners for National Patient ID Challenge's Concept Blitz Round

Biometric technology and quantum physics are among the envelope-pushing concepts to tackle vexing interoperability problem.
By Mike Miliard
03:41 PM
CHIME National Patient ID

CHIME has named two winners of the "Concept Blitz Round" of the National Patient ID Challenge it launched with HeroX, selected from an initial round of eight finalists.

A panel of five independent judges first narrowed the initial 113 entrants down to 23 semifinalists and then eight finalists.

Of those, Michael Braithwaite, who has devised a scalable strategy that uses enhanced biometric information to match patients with their unique health data, and Mark Schroeder, who proposes to deploy HL7-approved standards to enable demographics and biometrics for patient ID – came out on top. Both won $30,000.

The other six finalists were: Shawnnah Castillo; Kathryn Elaine; Bon Sy and Ayman Zeidan; and teams from Mathematica Policy Research, Spiral Nebula and RightPatient.

Launched in January, the CHIME/HeroX challenge seeks innovative ways to help U.S. providers reliably, accurately, privately and safely identify patients.

Speaking at HIMSS16 in Las Vegas this March, CHIME Board Chair Marc Probst, CIO at Intermountain Healthcare, called the lack of a dependable patient ID a "vexing problem" for healthcare with adverse effects on cost, efficiency, quality and safety.

"Done right, a national patient ID will save lives," he said.

[Also: ONC awards Boston Children's Hospital $275,000 to work on EHR apps discovery site]

In a June 1 press statement, Probst said he was encouraged and excited by some of the innovative projects submitted to the Concept Blitz Round, with so many leveraging technology that already exists and won’t require wholesale disruption of today’s IT systems.

That's critical to finding a tool that can be deployed across healthcare organizations of varying sizes and providers types, he said. "As patients increasingly seek care across the continuum, and data moves from one care setting to another, it is vital that we ensure patients are accurately identified and matched to their records."

The patient ID challenge now moves into the Final Innovation Round – open from June 1 to November 10. Innovators were not required to take part in the Concept Blitz Round in order to enter the final round, but must register by July 12 to be eligible for the $1 million prize.

With Johns Hopkins recently pointing to medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the U.S., the stakes are higher than ever for accurate patient matching, CHIME CEO Russ Branzell said in a statement.

"We know that somewhere, right now, a patient is being harmed due to misidentification," he said. "We owe it to our patients to solve this problem once and for all. The solutions coming forward in this challenge are pointing us to a real solution."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
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