A national patient identifier would help health information exchanges avoid potential errors, as well as time drains and the added costs of trying to match patients to their records from multiple providers. The fact that health information exchanges are expanding also suggests the need for a national patient identifier, writes consultant Meg Aranow in a blog post. "The persistent use of the patient identifier in the private and public HIEs will streamline and make more accurate efforts to share data among collaborating clinicians and public health entities," she writes.

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