The healthcare sector has become very dynamic in the world in the current times. Due to this dynamism of this sector, it is very important to establish a single master view of a patient’s record. However, technically it is very challenging to keep such a record. A Master Patient Index (MPI) refers to a database that is employed in order to maintain a unique identifier for every patient that is registered at a healthcare organization. It is employed in order to ensure that there is a logical representation of a patient and that the set of registration data of that particular patient is same in all of the organization’s systems.
It can also be used as tool to ensure that there is a possibility of cross-reference of demographic and clinical information between different facilities within the health care system. (Sharpe, 1999) On the other hand, Primary Key refers to a set of fields that contains a specific or rather a unique value for each record, identifies the record and also well indexed. A Primary Key must have the following properties; it must remain stable, it must be existing when creating a record, it must be unique for every record, and also its value must be such that it cannot change.
In order to create a relationship between one table and another, a Primary Key is used. In this case the Primary Key is known as a foreign key in the other table. (Sharpe, 1999) The development of the Master Patient Index and the Primary Key tools are of great help to health organizations today. For instance, in 1978, before the introduction of the Master Patient Index, there were many problems in the Traditional Records Systems, which included; unidirectional, inconsistency, incompatibility, and duplication of data.
(Appleby & Tarver 1995) The use of MPI has been beneficial in a number of ways. For instance, it has improved the accuracy and also ensures that in case of a single source, records do not go amiss when they are being passed from one unit to another within the facility. It has also assisted in communication because of the automatic update throughout the system in case of any changes. Another importance of the MPI is that of linkage. It is very cheap and at the same time very simple to establish a link of records relating to the same person.
MPI is also of great importance in the location of records of a certain patient. Lastly, MPI can be used to provide valuable information for screening and planning purposes. (Appleby & Tarver,1995). For the case of the PK, it can be said that the primary key helps in the identification of a record within a table and also relating records to any other data that might be in other tables. An organization’s IT/IS system can employ MPI and the PKs for system integration in a number of ways. For example, MPI helps in the identification of patients that visit a healthcare facility for services.
As such, it makes it easy for the generation and utilization of vital information which facilitates the decision making, managing and the also the delivery of the health services. (Michelle & Bowie,2004). Other ways in which the MPI and PKs helps in the integration of the system includes; the recording and tracking the flow of patients’ information or rather the patients’ data, availing the search engine, and also the minimization of the use of the keyboard in entering data by just dropping down the list.
The MPI and PKs have become very beneficial in the reporting of clinical, financial, and marketing by the HIMS analysts. For example, these tools provides information of a certain patient clearly showing total monthly charges, any adjustments that have been made, payments that have been made within that same period. ( Michelle & Bowie,2004). They also provide the sub-totals of all the figures hence, facilitating the keeping and management of such reports. In conclusion, the use of the MPI and PKs has really helped in the keeping of records of patients in health care facilities.
This has led to the reduction in the loss and duplication data of the patients. Therefore, the use of these tools our health facilities should be highly encouraged rather than the use of the old methods that were used in patient data recording. References. Michelle, A& Bowie, J. (2004), Essentials of Health Information Management: Principle and Practice. New York: Cengage Learning Appleby, K. S & Tarver, J, (1995). Medical Records. New York: Aspen Publishers Online Sharpe, C. C, (1999). Medical Records Review and Analysis. New Yor