Master Patient Index and Primary Keys

Category: Health Care
Last Updated: 20 Jun 2022
Pages: 2 Views: 682

The Master Patient Index (MPI) is an electronic medical record system for every patient registered in a health care organization. The MPI is stored in a database and contains a unique identifier, known as the Primary Key (PK). The PK is unique and identifies each record in the database. The MPI is considered the most important resource in a healthcare facility (AHIMA).

The MPI will contain the core elements about a patient such as name, address, phone number, date of birth, gender, race, social security number, and the unique patient identification number (Merida). The MPI identifies all patients that have been treated in a facility or healthcare organization. The PK is the unique identification number associated with the patient. The PK allows a patient to be cross-referenced between different facilities within a healthcare system (AHIMA).

Each time a patient visits a facility within the healthcare organization the registration system within the facility will look to the MPI for the patient information. If no record exists then one will be created at registration. Services obtained by the patient at each facility will now be linked to the MPI record using the PK (AHIMA). The MPI allows historical data about a patient’s care to be stored and later obtained.

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The MPI also allows access to information from any clinic, physician, laboratory, radiologist, medications, known allergies, referrals, billing, and accounts receivable with the use of the PK. The MPI allows for quick and accurate storage of a patient’s care. Quick access to a patient’s full medical history by a physician allows for better patient care (AHIMA). The MPI enables the health care organization to improve patient care through the integration of patient records and ensuring that all historical care information on each patient resides in one record.

It also helps the health care organization to decrease costs through improved operational efficiency. Improved patient care, decreased costs, and improved operational efficiency make the Master Patient Index one of the most important resources in a healthcare facility.


  1. American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). (Dec. 2, 2009) Retrieved from http://www. ahima. org/
  2. Johns, Merida L. , (2002). Concepts of Health Information Management. In S. Anderson (Eds. ), The _Health Information Management _Series (pp. 20-49). New York: Delmar.

Cite this Page

Master Patient Index and Primary Keys. (2018, Feb 15). Retrieved from

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