STAT June 22, 2022
Wylecia Wiggs Harris and Tom Cox

Misidentifying patients can have tragic consequences.

Numerous catastrophic cases and near misses have been collected by Patient ID Now, a coalition of health care organizations we are affiliated with that is dedicated to advancing a nationwide patient identification and matching strategy.

In one example from the Patient ID Now website, a woman had a routine mammogram, but never received the results. Assuming that no news was good news, she mentioned the mammogram to her doctor months later during her annual physical. That conversation led to the discovery that her results had been misfiled in the chart of a deceased patient who shared her name. The mammogram showed cancer which, during the one-year delay, had become terminal.

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