Contact Us
Back to the blogFeb 15, 2024

Understanding the Importance of a Medical Record Number (MRN) in Healthcare

Understanding the Importance of a Medical Record Number (MRN) in Healthcare

Related articles:

Maximizing Healthcare ROI: Optimize by Utilizing AI in Revenue Cycle Management

Read Article

What to Expect with AI in Healthcare in 2024

Read Article

Understanding the Role and Benefits of Independent Physician Associations (IPAs)

Read Article

The Medical Record Number (MRN) has become an indispensable tool for healthcare facilities around the world. The ease with which important patient information can be accessed allows providers to concentrate on providing informed, quality care.

A Quick Overview of the MRN

The MRN is a unique identifier commonly assigned to patients in primary care, hospitals, and other clinical settings. This number allows providers to create a unified health record, improving the way care can be administered. The MRN can be assigned in many ways, but in most cases, it's generated by the Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) system. Once assigned, the MRN will not change and remains unique to that patient, much like a social security number.  

The Medical Record Number has proven to be a vital instrument for accurately tracking and referencing medical records for patients in practices, hospitals, and treatment centers. The ability to keep a consistent ID for a patient, regardless of department or provider, helps minimize treatment errors. 

How MRNs Are Used

The MRN has become the gold standard for identifying patients and helping keep all their records accurately assigned to their files. They may be implemented on a small scale, such as in an independently-owned primary care office. In this type of setting, the assigned numbers are usually only used within that practice and will have no correlation to other providers' MRN assignments. 

Conversely, large hospitals or treatment centers may assign numbers that work throughout a wide network of their own facilities, allowing seamless access to patient records from multiple locations. 

Once the MRN has been assigned, it's used on every record generated for that patient. This can include patient notes, diagnoses, treatments, lab results, telemedicine reports, surgeries, and other records pertaining to the patient's care. 

The Benefits of the Medical Record Number for Hospitals and Practices

Medical care providers have heavier caseloads than ever before, making it vitally important that they have ready access to all of a patient's records. The EHR (Electronic Health Record) has provided practitioners with a robust tool that allows them to easily take notes, prescribe medications, and attach important documents all in one place. 

In addition, the MRN helps practitioners assign documents, results, and notes to the appropriate patient's electronic record without worrying about populating the wrong individual's records, as can often happen when depending on names alone. 

The Medical Record Number has further facilitated efficient access. Because it's used for every component of a patient's record, from routine visits to in-house procedures to previous diagnoses, providers can gain a deeper understanding of a patient's medical history and needs in a short amount of time.

How Patients Can Benefit From the Medical Record Number

Facilities and providers aren't the only ones who see the benefits of the Medical Record Number. For instance, the MRN helps prevent errors in care. Many patients may share the same name, which could come with disastrous consequences if the wrong record is accessed based solely on the name. With an MRN, patients have an added layer of assurance that their practitioner properly identified them. 

In addition, the Medical Record Number makes it easier for patients to move between facilities that use the same Healthcare Information Technology system. This eliminates the need to have records transferred and also helps prevent errors in record compilation.

The MRN is typically found on all documentation, with or without the patient's name on it. It eliminates the need for more sensitive identifying information, such as a full social security number. Patients can find their Medical Record Number on items such as discharge instructions, billing statements, care notes, and other documents generated by their practice or hospital.

The Future of the Medical Record Number

Modern healthcare often requires patients to obtain treatment at multiple locations for different concerns and complaints. This can complicate record-sharing between facilities that are not affiliated with one another. 

Because MRNs can differ from facility to facility, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) has been working toward implementing a system in which all individuals within the United States will be assigned a single, universal identifier that would allow access to all records by any provider or hospital they chose to be seen at. 

This could help eliminate the delays in care that are sometimes experienced while practitioners await the receipt of records from other facilities. It would also allow patients to feel more confident in obtaining care while traveling or being referred to care providers outside of their normal network. The implementation of a country-wide system will require a national strategy to be developed and then approved by Congress. 

TempDev's flexible, customized systems can help your healthcare network or physician practices easily integrate a Medical Record number system into your Practice Management or EHR. We are committed to providing up-to-the-moment technology to help ambulatory healthcare centers succeed. Our team of experienced consultants and developers will work with you every step of the way to create a system that will increase productivity and accuracy. Contact us today to discuss your custom-tailored records solution.


Agree with our point of view? Become our client!

Please submit your business information and a TempDev representative will follow up with you within 24 hours.

Hello! I’m the assistant Twinkie.

If you want to know more about TempDev please fill in your contact information below.
We’ll make sure to reach back as quickly as possible.
Hello! I’m the assistant Twinkie. How can I help?