NHS Matching- Patient Identity Number

11 July 2013
From April 2014 trusts will be contractually obligated to use the NHS number as their primary patient identifier. This will support safer patient identification practices by helping to access a person’s record more easily and accurately.
“An urgent step needed to make the data revolution real” Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s National Director for Patients and Information
The benefits of single patient identity number are undeniable. The challenge at the moment for trusts is linking data and identifying patients accurately. The NHS Number is the only national unique patient identifier used to link a person to their healthcare record.
It is crucial to link different patient data from different organisations, such as Social Care and Health; many believe the NHS number is the best way of linking data safely. Health and Social Care integration will result in improved care for service users by ensuring co-ordination of their full care pathway and that their current needs are met accurately and efficiently.
Northgate provide a NHS Matching services that is already being used by customers. We believe this is a step in the right direction in supporting integration with Health and Social Care. Seamless sharing of information across organisations will assist in providing a holistic view of one person and allowing care to be given more effectively which will aid in delivering better health and well-being outcomes for patients.
“Transparency is the future of the peoples NHS, and the future is open”  Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s National Director for Patients and Information
In January 2008, Northgate launched its facility for batch loading NHS numbers into SWIFT.  It required local authorities to obtain an N3 connection and subscribe to the National Strategic Tracing Service (NSTS) to match SWIFT Clients to their NHS numbers.  NSTS has now been replaced with the Demographic Batch Service (DBS) from NHS Connecting for Health.  Through its operation of a range of national NHS information services such as Patient Reported Outcomes Measures (PROMS), Northgate is the largest single user of the DBS and is able to extend access to its social care customers without the need for N3.
Before any customers can implement online access to Spine Demographic Service (PDS), they must have validated NHS numbers against over 95% of active clients.  This can only be achieved by a batch matching service such as this.  One SWIFT customer has already achieved and maintained over 99% of clients with NHS numbers since running the Northgate NHS number upload facility.
To find out more about how we can assist with your NHS Matching please enquire at marketing@northgate-is.com