Duplicate Patient Worklist

Article author
Tamsin Watson
  • Updated

 What is the context of the article?

The Duplicate Patient Worklist is used to highlight groups of patients that have similar or matching details and enables you to quickly complete merges on mass for one or many of these matching patients, based on a set of configurable criteria. This feature is to automate the existing process of the current workflow of merging patients.

What is the purpose of the article?

The purpose of this article is to provide guide of how to set up and utilise the Duplicate Patient Worklist.

This article is split into the following sections:

  1. Enabling Patient Merging and setting merge criteria
  2. Duplicate Patient Worklist

Please note: No real patient data has been used for the demonstration of this feature. The data shown in screenshots is purely test data. 

Enabling Patient Merging and Setting Merge Criteria

Once enabled in your chamber, you will be able to locate the Patient Merging Configuration page in Admin> Configuration > Patient Merging.

Once you are inside of Patient Merging Configuration screen, you will need to tick the Enable duplicate patient worklist box, make sure to click Save in the top corner.

For results to be returned to this worklist page when searching, we need to set up the criteria that we deem to be relevant when searching for duplicate patients.


Setting up Duplicate Matching Criteria

Base matching 

The Base Matching Criteria is what dictates the results shown on the Duplicate Patients Worklist page and how we create groups of patients based on the similarity of 3 main patient fields.

These criteria determine the results that will show as potential duplicates in the initial Worklist. You must specify at least one match for name or surname. Name and surname can be either an exact (case insensitive) match, or a Soundex match. The date of birth can be an exact match or year only.

  • Surname
  • Name
  • Date of birth

Name and Surname

Duplicate patients will often have either the same or a similar name for their different records. With these options, we can choose if we're looking for an exact or Soundex match for one or both of these name fields, or no match is necessary.

Soundex match

Soundex is a phonetic algorithm used for indexing and searching names based on their pronunciation. Consonants in the word are assigned numeric values based on their sound, and vowels and certain consonants are ignored. Each name then produces a Soundex code and similar names can be found based on matching Soundex codes.


Names like Claire, Clare and Clair all return a Soundex code of C460 as they are pronounced the same. However there are cases where names like Caitlin (C345) and Kaitlin (K345) do not return the same Soundex code, as they start with different letters. This is the same for names which rhyme such as Hollie (H400) and Mollie (M400). It also does not necessarily account for names which have partial matches such as Summer (S560) and Summers (S562) having different codes.

Date of birth

For DOB we can match patients on the exact date or just a matching year. We can also choose to have no match for the date, similar to the name fields.

Note: Whilst we can have No match for all of the base criteria options, it is a requirement to have at least 1 of these fields set to some method of matching for it to function. As a result you are unable to save the configuration settings if all of the options are set to No match.


Scoring Criteria

After we've found a group of patients that match based on our Base Criteria, there is a scoring system applied to indicate how close these patients' details match to the main patient record based on additional fields.

This scoring can be seen by selecting a group of patients from the Duplicate Patients Worklist when assessing a group of patients, we first pick a primary patient. Then, we assign a score to each patient in the group based on how many details align with those of the primary patient.

When setting the Scoring Criteria, you will need to assign a weighting against 6 fields, of which there are 3 levels of importance for each field. Fields marked important, have twice the weight of fields marked as Normal.


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Scoring breakdown

When hovering over a patient score field, a score breakdown will appear to inform you which fields are matching with the primary patient and how they've accumulated the given score.

hovering over a patient score field, a score breakdown will appears to inform you which fields are matching with the primary patient and how the accumulator gave the score

Note: When calculating scores, names are only considered exact matches to the primary patient. Matching based solely on Soundex codes does not contribute to scores displayed on this page.


Merging Threshold

Here you can set the minimum score required to allow a patient to be merged into the primary record.

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If the score assigned to the patient does not meet the threshold it will disable the individual merge option from appearing for that specific patient, and also not include them when doing a bulk merge from this screen.

Duplicate patient work list in a group view showing records which do not meet the merge threshold

Using the Duplicate Patient Worklist 

To access the Duplicate Patient Worklist, you will need to add the tile to your start page layout. For support with editing Start Page Layouts, please refer to this article Changing Start Page Layouts.

In the Duplicate Patient Worklist window, you are presented with a range of sections. Potential Duplicates will not be shown until you click Search.

On the top part of this page, you can view your Base criteria, Weighting, and Additional fields. This is a reminder of what you have set up in Configuration > Patient Merging.

Search Filter options

By default any patients that have been declared as distinct (not a duplicate) or are currently in progress of being merged will not appear in the list of results, but there are filter options that can be enabled to include these records in the view.

Click Search to return the list of potential duplicates. You will now see rows of patients who are a match based on your conditions. Each row identifies a group of patients that have been matched due to the base criteria.

Group view

By selecting a row with a group of patients, a detailed view of the patient group will be displayed. This new page is where you can select valid duplicates and initiate the merge process.

A table showing potential matches, listing IDs, Surname, name, Date of Birth, Postcode, Phone, Email, Score and Actions

Action buttons

Based on the status of a patient in this view, different action buttons are available to either add/remove a patient from the bulk merge process, or initiate an individual merge of that patient into the main record.

  • Mark distinct - Marking a patient as distinct means you are confirming this patient is not a duplicate and either shouldn't be shown by default in further searches or isn't valid for part of a bulk or individual merge process.
    The patient's score will be removed as it's no longer relevant and the merge action button will not appear for that patient.

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  • Not distinct - Removes distinct status from the patient and enables the record to be part of a group or individual merge again.
  • Set primary - This selects one of the patients as the primary record in the group and as the destination you would like to merge other patients into.
    • Only one patient can be marked as primary and selecting this will cause their details to be displayed in an info box at the top of the page, and also scores to appear for other records in relation to how many details they have that match the primary patients.
  • Clear primary - Removes the selected patient as the primary record and restores the action button to mark other records as the primary record.
  • Merge - Each patient will have a merge button available to them providing a primary patient has been selected and their score meets the minimum threshold. Selecting this button will cause a prompt to appear where you can start an individual merge of the selected patient into the primary record.

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  • Merge all - Produces a bulk merge prompt where any patients that are not marked as distinct and also meet the minimum score threshold can be merged into the primary record.

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Once you confirm the merge by clicking OK, the merge process will begin and the records which have been merged with the Primary record, will state "Merge in progress" in the Score column.


Review date

This article was last updated on 15th April 2024.