Universal Patient Identifier

A New Solution to Match and Manage Patient Identities

With a shared vision of leveraging data for the common good, NCPDP and Experian Health have partnered to deliver an Universal Patient Identifier to all healthcare constituents. The Universal Patient Identifier (UPI), powered by Experian Health’s Universal Identity Manager (UIM) and NCPDP Standards™, is a vendor- and provider-neutral solution for accurately managing patient identification across the healthcare ecosystem.

The solution leverages Experian’s expansive consumer demographic information and referential matching methodologies to identify record matches and duplicates in a patient roster file, and then assign a unique UPI to each patient in the file. The UPI can be used to exchange information across disparate healthcare entities. To find out more contact patientid@ncpdp.org.

The joint offering addresses patient safety, financial and operational challenges across the U.S. healthcare ecosystem. It is available to any healthcare organization that owns and exchanges patient data.

Immediate Benefit

A quick gain for the healthcare organization is the identification of duplicate, overlapping and incomplete patient profiles, enabling the organization to improve the quality and integrity of its patient records. A recent study by RAND Corporation revealed that 8 to 16% of patient records generated by U.S. providers can be defined duplicate.


The UPI establishes the foundation for exchanging patient information across the healthcare ecosystem to:

  • Reduce medical/medication errors and improve patient safety;
  • Improve care coordination, population health management, prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs); and
  • Reduce human and financial resources needed to reconcile duplicate records and billing/claims errors.



1. Makary, MA, Daniel M. Medical Error: The Third Leading Cause of Death in the United States. BMJ, May 4, 2016.
2. McCann, E. (2014, July 18). Healthcare IT News. Deaths by medical mistakes hit records. Retrieved June 22, 2018 on the World Wide Web: www.healthcareitnews.com