NextGate Responds to Request by ONC for Strategies to Improve Patient Identity and Matching

Leading patient identification solutions provider underscores use of standards, proven technology and data governance as most promising path towards advancing patient matching efforts

PASADENA, Calif., September 2, 2020 – NextGate, the global leader in enterprise patient identification, today submitted comments to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) in response for stakeholder input on patient matching and identity strategies. Feedback will serve to inform the agency’s upcoming report to Congress on steps to improve patient matching and identification.

In a letter to National Coordinator for Health IT, Dr. Don Rucker, NextGate applauded the agency for engaging the private sector for input related to patient matching strategies. NextGate pointed to a lack of a universal identifier and a national patient identification strategy, as significant hurdles to data sharing and our public health response to COVID-19.

“The need for a nationwide strategy to address patient identification been heighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, notably by challenges in linking online and other patient registration with testing results from labs and then with the correct medical records and with public health authorities,” the letter stated.

NextGate called for a combination of standards for recording demographic data elements, use of an enterprise master patient index (EMPI), and a robust organizational data governance program as the most promising path towards advancing patient matching efforts.

The company cited adoption of such standards as USPS or alternatively, use address verification technology, to verify and validate patient addresses as a means to promote better patient matching.

“NextGate has found that address verification tools can add considerably to identification accuracy. “We have seen with the COVID-19 experience that the large fraction of missing demographic data accompanying COVID-19 test results has greatly hampered accurate links of results and records,” the letter stated. “Providers will need complete visibility into their patient populations to provide resources to COVID-positive individuals, track infection patterns, and report on outcomes.”

For over two decades, NextGate has been helping healthcare organizations around the world overcome the clinical, operational and financial challenges that result from duplicate records and disparate systems. Its flagship EMPI solution currently manages patient identities for more than two-thirds of the U.S. population and one-third of the populations in the U.K. and Australia.

The full text of NextGate’s letter to ONC can be found here.


About NextGate

With over 200 customers in nine countries, NextGate is the global leader in healthcare enterprise identification. Committed to helping organizations overcome the clinical, operational and financial challenges that result from duplicate records and disparate data, our full suite of identity matching solutions connects the entire healthcare ecosystem to drive critical improvements in quality, efficiency and safety. NextGate’s market-leading EMPI currently manages more than 300 million lives and is deployed by the nation’s most successful healthcare systems and health information exchanges. For more information, visit

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Media Contact:
Stephanie Fraser
Director of Communications and Media Relations, NextGate
c: 734-233-1483 | o: 734-399-9336