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Patient Data-Matching Software: A Buyer's Guide for the Budget Conscious

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Publication Date: August 2004

Publisher(s): California HealthCare Foundation

Author(s): LeRoy Jones; Walter Sujansky

Topic: Health (Health services administration)

Type: Report


This guide documents a detailed assessment and comparison of four commercially available, moderately priced products to help budget-conscious provider organizations solve their patient data-matching needs. The patient matching task is an important and challenging step in the creation of integrated clinical databases used for disease management and quality-improvement purposes. While many provider organizations have homegrown software tools that use simple algorithms to match patient data from disparate sources (hospital and ambulatory encounter data, pharmacy claims, laboratory reports, etc.), the effectiveness of such systems is often less than desired. In developing the guide, CHCF sought to identify products that met the following requirements:

*Availability on a desktop platform; *Application of advanced matching techniques; *Ability to integrate into existing patient-matching workflows; and *A total cost of ownership not exceeding $50,000.

Of the products that met this criteria--Linkage Wiz, SureMatch, DataSet V Suite, and DeDupe4Excel--three are good matches for most provider organizations, while the fourth, DeDupe4Excel, may be appropriate for very small organizations. Developed for CHCF by Sujansky and Associates, the assessment includes a qualitative description of each product's capabilities with respect to 20 relevant features and head-to-head quantitative scoring on the same features. While the products identified in the guide are aimed at small- to medium-sized health care organizations, the comprehensive list of criteria used to evaluate these products will be useful to buyers of all sizes.