Toolkit Teaches How to Advocate for a Patient Safety Identifier

As part of a grassroots campaign to spark a national conversation about patient safety identifiers, AHIMA has released a new toolkit the association hopes HIM professionals will use to help spread the word.

AHIMA’s MyHealthID campaign, which advocates for the creation of a voluntary patient safety identifier, relies in large part on getting 100,000 signatures in 30 days on a petition between March 20 and April 19.

AHIMA is taking its campaign straight to the White House due to a federal prohibition on the discussion of a unique patient identifier by legislators. This ban prevents government health officials from discussing one of the most viable ways of improving patient matching and reducing the risk of medical errors, according to AHIMA.

The toolkit is designed to help HIM professionals raise awareness for the White House petition and help them become ambassadors for the campaign’s message.

Some resources provided in the toolkit include:

  • A template for an article that AHIMA members can send to local and national patient and consumer publications
  • A template for articles targeted to healthcare industry and trade publications
  • A template for e-mails members can send to friends and family members educating them on the need for an identifier
  • Suggestions for creating Twitter and Facebook accounts so that members can advance the #MyHealthID message on social media, and samples of social media posts
  • Tips for working and interacting with the media
  • A template for press releases on MyHealthID
  • Graphics and images that can be circulated with the press and on social media

The toolkit also helps identify talking points and strategy for the campaign. AHIMA’s MyHealthID initiative proposes:

  • A voluntary patient safety identifier system in which individual patients could choose if they wish to participate.
  • A system where consumers select their own identifier, much as they do when they select usernames, passwords, or e-mail addresses.
  • A unique identifier for each individual that can be used when provided by the patient to access medical records.

A link to the White House petition will appear on the AHIMA website when the petition goes live March 20. Click here for a PDF of the toolkit.

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