By Lesley Kadlec, MA, RHIA, CHDA
Have you ever wondered how you can advocate for accurate patient identity but didn’t know where to start? Consider joining the over 1,000 individuals who have taken the AHIMA Naming Policy pledge.
Since launching AHIMA’s Naming Policy Pledge on the first day of AHIMA20 in October, over 1000 individuals have pledged to advocate and educate on the importance of naming policies in identifying and matching patients to their unique health record.
As a global organization that represents health information professionals who work with health data for more than one billion patient visits each year, AHIMA’s vision is a world where trusted information transforms health and healthcare by connecting people, systems, and ideas. To achieve this vision, accurate patient identification is fundamental and when patient demographic data is standardized through the use of a naming policy, the data is often more accurate, more complete, and more trusted.
As healthcare professionals committed to excellence in the management of health information for the benefit of patients and providers, we have a responsibility to ensure that health data is accurate, complete, and available to patients and clinicians. In fact, AHIMA’s Code of Ethics obligates us as a profession to ensure the accessibility and integrity of health information. As health information professionals, we are acutely aware that patient misidentification continues to jeopardize patient safety, limits and delays data sharing and interoperability, and has an adverse effect on data quality.
AHIMA’s naming policy recommendations include key demographic components that should be included in organizational naming policies.
Now is the time to take action. Identifying and matching patients to their records has never been more important. Accurate patient matching will become ever more critical as the massive volume of COVID-19 vaccines begin to be administered in the new year.
Start today by taking the pledge. As a change agent in your organization, schedule a must-have conversation with executive leadership about implementing this standard set of policies in your organization. The more organizations that agree to advocating for these changes in our information systems, the faster we can achieve accurate, complete, and trusted data.
You can read AHIMA’s naming policy pledge here:
Lesley Kadlec ( is director, policy and state advocacy engagement at AHIMA.

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