The problem of having duplicate patient records is a common one for many Noah installations. In some cases, a new patient record is created in error when one already exists. Or when standalone databases are combined into a networked database, duplicates can also occur.
The new merge patient records feature in Noah 4.8 provides an easy to use solution for hearing care professionals to search for or select patient records in the Noah database that are duplicates, and merge the information into one patient record.
The new Merge Duplicate Patients feature offers two ways to locate duplicate patients.
While searching for a record in Noah, one or more patient records that are duplicates may be discovered. Using the new Merge Duplicate Patients feature, the professional can select the duplicate records directly in the Noah Patient Browser, right click and select "Merge Patients" (or select the Merge Patients icon from tool bar), and then review and merge the records.
A Noah administrator can also Search the entire Noah database for patients that might be duplicates. The Search for duplicates is initiated from the Noah Console by selecting "Search for Duplicate Patients", and returns a list of all patients that are possible duplicates, allowing the professional to compare the records and merge.
Both methods to locate duplicates launch the Merge Patient Records tool.
From the tool the professional can review demographic data and action data for two or more patient records to determine if they are duplicates.
Demographic data: The tool displays the demographic information that has been entered for each patient. The professional can then select the patient record with the best set of demographic data, and the new merged record will use this ‘best’ demographic data. By default, the tool will use demographic data from the patient that has the most recent action.
Session and Action data: In the same manner as Noah’s import Merge process, all the action data (e.g. audiograms, fittings, etc.) are merged, keeping the exact same session and action date and time.
By default, all patient records in the tool will be included in the merge. If one of the presented records is not a duplicate, then the professional can uncheck the “include” box. Once the professional finds two or more patients to be merged, they can click on the Merge button and the records will be merged.
There is no undo on the merging duplicate patients process. It is therefore recommended to have a current backup in place in case patient records are merged in error.
After the Merge is complete, only the newly merged patient will be present in Noah and the other patient record(s) will be deleted.
Merge process is documented in the patient record
Noah will create a Journal entry for the merged patient that provides details about the merge. The action description is ‘Patient Record Merged’. The journal entry will include the patient name(s) and actions that were merged.
Audit trail for Merging process
The Merge history will be recorded in the security audit trail found in the HIPAA Log.
The Merge process will result in one modified (edited) patient and any number of deleted patients. The audit activities will be ‘Patient Edit’ and ‘Patient Delete’. In the HIPAA log the following text will be added:
- for deleted patients: patient record merged to new patient
- for edited patients: patient record via merge process with deleted patient
- for actions added to patient: actions added via merge with
User Level Rights for merging patients and deleting patients
It’s possible to control which Noah users can Merge patient records using Noah User Administration.
By default, Administrators and Level 1 users have the right to ‘Merge and Delete Data’, and Level 2 users have the right turned off.