Open Enterprise Master Patient Index


Patient identity management is a crucial component of a Health Information Exchange (HIE) since a patient’s identity must be accurately determined across the institutions that are sharing data before healthcare data for that patient can be shared across organizations. The complexity of linking patient identity information across healthcare providers is exacerbated by the presence of multiple patient identifiers, syntactic and semantic differences in key patient demographic attributes, and duplicate patient registration records.An Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI) is a core component of any HIE as it provides patient identity management and resolves the patient matching problem by utilizing a number of algorithms that quickly and accurately match patient records despite the presence of errors and missing fields.

OpenEMPI is a high-performance, open-source, EMPI that has been designed based on the principles of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and consists of a collection of loosely-coupled services that interact with each other through well-defined interfaces. This architecture has made OpenEMPI very flexible and extensible, offering its users two key advantages:

  1. OpenEMPI provides multiple alternative implementations of some key services, such as offering both a deterministic and a probabilistic implementation of the matching services. This allows each site that chooses to implement an instance of OpenEMPI to choose the most appropriate implementation based on the preferences and data characteristics of the site.
  2. In addition to the currently implemented alternatives for each service, an implemented may choose to develop their own custom algorithm by simply utilizing the extensibility framework of OpenEMPI. They can then plug-in their custom implementation without having to make any modifications to the other parts of the system.