Facilitating linkage through universal patient identifiers: a difficult endeavor.Top Health Inf Manage. 1997 May; 17(4):32-9.TH
The article discusses the creation and use of universal patient identifiers to facilitate the linkage of patient records from all the components of the health care delivery system. The benefits and disadvantages of using a national health identifier that uses the Social Security number are discussed. A number of universal patient identifier proposals are presented to illustrate the complexity of the issue. The article concludes with a discussion of what health information managers can currently do in their own facilities to facilitate access to integrated information.