Deduplication of immunization records is a two-fold problem that includes deduplication at the demographic/patient level (e.g., two records describe the same patient) and deduplication at the vaccination event level (e.g., two records describe the same immunization). Resources have been developed to assist with both aspects of deduplication.
Vaccine Level Deduplication
For best practices regarding vaccine level deduplication, see the Modeling of Immunization Registry Operations Workgroup (MIROW) Vaccination Level Deduplication in Immunization Information Systems [102 pages] guide.
Patient Level Deduplication
Patient deduplication is the process of removing redundant patient records from a database, preventing fragmented and duplicate information from being processed and ensuring that updates and queries apply to the correct record.
Inconsistencies in determining which records represent the same patient, as well as errors in combining patient’s immunization records, negatively affect the overall data quality and usefulness of Immunization Information Systems (IIS). The following resources were developed by subject matter experts in the field of patient deduplication and matching.
- Patient-Level Deduplication Best Practices [78 pages] (Jun 2013)
Best practice guidelines on patient-level de-duplication, intended for programmatic, technical, and operational experts involved in creating or maintaining an IIS.
- Patient-Level Deduplication Test Case Development, Testing & Utilization [35 pages] (Jul 2013)
Final report and recommendations regarding testing and test case development.
- Deduplication test cases – Excel or PDF [22 pages]
Patient-level deduplication test cases use fictitious records that are randomly generated and randomly chosen. When testing databases, it is best practice to use this kind of ‘dummy data’ as a placeholder for real data. No identification with actual persons, living or deceased, is intended or should be inferred.
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- Page last reviewed: May 16, 2018
- Page last updated: December 29, 2016
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