Private medical record linkage with approximate matching.

Durham E, Xue Y, Kantarcioglu M, Malin B
AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2010 2010: 182-6

PMID: 21346965 · PMCID: PMC3041434

Federal regulations require patient data to be shared for reuse in a de-identified manner. However, disparate providers often share data on overlapping populations, such that a patient's record may be duplicated or fragmented in the de-identified repository. To perform unbiased statistical analysis in a de-identified setting, it is crucial to integrate records that correspond to the same patient. Private record linkage techniques have been developed, but most methods are based on encryption and preclude the ability to determine similarity, decreasing the accuracy of record linkage. The goal of this research is to integrate a private string comparison method that uses Bloom filters to provide an approximate match, with a medical record linkage algorithm. We evaluate the approach with 100,000 patients' identifiers and demographics from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. We demonstrate that the private approximation method achieves sensitivity that is, on average, 3% higher than previous methods.

MeSH Terms (5)

Algorithms Humans Medical Record Linkage Medical Records Systems, Computerized Names

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