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Client Registry

Every person who receives care in Ontario, regardless of their eligibility for government funded health services, is to be unambiguously identifiable by a unique identifier, used uniformly across the province. 

A health care client is a person who is eligible to receive, has received, or is receiving health care services in Ontario. The client registry is the definitive source for a health care client’s identity, facilitating the unique, accurate and reliable identification of individual clients and others who receive care in Ontario, across the disciplines in the health care sector.

It contains demographic and identification cross-reference data for health care clients registered in one or more Patient Identifier Domains (PID) for which eHealth Ontario, as a result of policy/program/IT decisions, has established a data sharing agreement with the respective organizations. 

The registry is fed by a number of data sources, including the registered persons database (RPDB, used by OHIP), systems that are used by hospitals to track admissions, discharges, and transfers (admission, discharge, transfer (ADT) systems), and other systems that participate in health care services. It includes the functionality of the Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI), a service that matches records from different sources referring to a single health care client. For example, someone may have been treated in several hospitals, each of which has a record but uses a different, hospital-specific identification number. It is important that the EHR be able to recognize that these records all actually refer to the same individual. 

The client registry is designed to address the business need for positive identification of clients. 

Examples of services provided by the registry include:

  • Validating health care client identity information
  • Searching and resolving information from multiple sources that refer to the same health care client identity
  • Obtaining summary and detailed demographic information about a health care client
  • Adding and updating a health care client record
  • Merging and unmerging health care client records (because they either do, or do not, refer to the same individual)
  • Reconciling duplicates
  • Managing publish/subscribe notifications of adds, updates, merges and splits to downstream systems 
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