RCR praises call for universal patient ID numbers

The U.K. Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) said that it welcomes the recent statement from the Association of Healthcare Technology Providers for Imaging, Radiotherapy, and Care (AXREM) calling for consistent use of national unique patient identification numbers in the U.K.

The RCR said that the AXREM statement, which seeks consistent deployment of a unique patient ID number based on the existing National Health Service number, aligns with its own recent call for creating infrastructures to enable better sharing of images and reports among different hospitals. Current systems are woefully inadequate, resulting in unnecessary delays and the potential for patient harm, according to the college.

"If every system had to use the same national unique identifier number for patients, this would enable accurate, fast sharing of diagnostic images and reports," the RCR said in a statement. "Doctors would be confident that they are safely and quickly seeing all the records belonging to the same individual patient and, crucially, that patients are receiving the right diagnosis and treatment."

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