The Patient ID Now coalition has published a new framework urging government officials and private businesses to collaborate on making wide-ranging changes to patient identification policies in the United States. Dozens of industry groups and health systems, including the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association, are members of the coalition.

“The lack of a national strategy around patient identification and matching has limited the progress in the adoption of digital health information technologies and management,” the groups wrote. “It also threatens the continued advancement of digital health and virtual care. Meanwhile, the challenges and consequences from incorrectly identifying and matching patients to their health information are amplified by the ever-increasing exchange of health information across the healthcare system.”

Current patient identification policies cost the average healthcare facility approximately $17.4 million per year, the coalition wrote. In addition, they added, the lack of a unified policy has led to “several troubling privacy issues.”