MedTunnel

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Is the MedTunnel ID for a patient a unique identifier?

Yes, the MedTunnel ID is unique for every patient and can/should be used as a unique identifier.  One of the problems with healthcare is that there is no universal identifier for a patient.  The patient ID in one provider's system does not match the patient ID in another's system.  As a result, medical documents that are sent between providers have to be manually searched for identifying information like the patient's name and date of birth to try to match the patient in these systems.  If every patient had a MedTunnel ID, then matching patients in separate systems is made much easier.  This is why when providers are sending medical documents to each other, they can optionally enter the MedTunnel ID of the patient whose documents they are sending.  Even if they enter the MedTunnel ID of the patient, this does not mean that the patient also receives the document - they don't.  It is simply there to help the recipient of the document help identify the patient.

For this reason it is important for providers to encourage their patients to join MedTunnel and also to keep the MedTunnel ID of their patients in their records in the same manner they are currently keeping other information like the patient's phone number and email address.  MedTunnel encourages all EMR/EHR vendors to allow for a new field in their patient database to be able to save a patient's MedTunnel ID.  If a current system does not allow for this, providers can store the MedTunnel ID as an email address with "@medtunnel.com" as the extension.  For example, if a patent's MedTunnel ID is "jdoe123" then they can store "jdoe123@medtunnel.com" as the email address in their system.  Anytime a message is sent via MedTunnel with either a recipient or patient's MedTunnel ID having the "@medtunnel.com" extension, then the MedTunnel system will automatically strip off the "@medtunnel.com" extension and treat it as a regular MedTunnel ID.  A MedTunnel ID with the "@medtunnel.com" extension is not an email address.  Email can not be sent to "jdoe123@medtunnel.com".

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