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Smart+Search Intelligent NHS Number Lookup

To integrate healthcare applications, you need to identify the patient uniquely. In the UK, this means using the NHS number; but many healthcare applications have poor NHS number coverage. Smart+Search Intelligent NHS number lookup gets high rates of NHS number coverage, without expensive manual data cleansing

How does Smart+Search do this?

The National services for NHS number lookup (PDS, DBS, SMSP) require high input data quality. Even small errors or variants in the 5 key demographis fields, such as patient name variants, result in failed searches. Correcting these involves expensive manual retries or data cleansing - costing many minutes or even hours per patient. Many providers cannot afford to do this. So their healthcare applications still have NHS number coverage levels of 80% or less.

Smart+Search uses Spine Mini-Services, through the CareMotive SMSP. If the first SMSP search fails, Smart+Search uses an Intelligent Automatic Retry strategy. - auto-correcting spelling errors and variants, and using wild cards. Then Smart+Search uses Advanced Data Quality techniques to check the quality of each match. This typically raises success rates from below 80% to around 95% - without any added manual effort.

These results have been proven with several local authorities (in social care) and healthcare providers.

So in batch mode or interactive mode, you can use Smart+Search to rapidly boost your NHS number coverage to high levels, and keep it there. There are several reasons for doing so:

- Legal Requirement: It is now a legal requirement in England to identify the patient by NHS number in all patient transfers between providers. You cannot do this if you do not know the NHS number for 20% or more of your patients.

- Better Care Fund: One National Condition for the Better Care Fund - measured every 6 months - is the level of adoption of the NHS Number in each locality. As healthcare integration becomes more essential, this condition may be measured increasingly carefully, for all providers.

- Clinical Adoption: Local integration initiatives allow clinicians to see the 'whole picture' for any patient across all providers. This is much valued. But if NHS numbers are missing for some patients from some applications, clinicians cannot see the whole picture for those patients. This may lead to slow adoption of local integration projects.

- Patient Safety: As local integration of healthcare becomes the norm, clinicians will rely on seeing the whole picture for a patient across providers. Patients for whom they cannot see the whole picture will then be at risk. To run this risk for 20% or more of patients is unacceptable.

- Data Quality: Data quality in healthcare applications has important implications for patient safety. Through SMSP, Smart+Search can retrieve many demographic fields besides the NHS number - such as GP practice details, and contact details. These can be used to improve the data quality of any healthcare application.

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