Volume 3, Issue 2 (February 2006)
The Case for a Voluntary National Healthcare Identifier
This paper describes a proposed system to create a voluntary national healthcare identification (VNHID) system for the United States. This system would be implemented in addition to the national linkage mechanisms currently being proposed as part of a national health information network. It will provide demonstrable improvements in the privacy, security, and efficiency of the system. It would also eliminate a significant set of errors inherent in the currently proposed health information linkage system. The proposed VNHID system is able to meet the vast majority of the objections that have previously been raised concerning a national healthcare identifier on the basis of privacy concerns. The system has the potential to be implemented rapidly and would not require the development of a national consensus prior to implementation.