Duplicate clinical data is a prevalent issue in the healthcare industry. Throughout their interactions with the healthcare system, patients often consult multiple physicians, resulting in repetitive logging of information in electronic medical records (EMRs). For instance, consider the numerous occasions when you have had to recount your allergies and medications.

To tackle this challenge, Particle provides a data deduplication solution that streamlines your clinical records retrieved from various networks. While some organizations may choose to manage deduplication independently, opting for Particle's deduplication service can expedite integration with our product and alleviate the operational burden associated with sorting through redundant data.

Please find below a list of frequently asked questions regarding Particle's deduplication approach and the options available to you.

What does deduplication do?

Deduplication consolidates identical data elements across multiple C-CDA documents so you only receive one unique data component.

Particle Deduplication is in effect for both our FHIR R4 and Flat API. Deduplication removes redundant FHIR resources and Flat data in order to reduce noise and make our output datasets more immediately actionable and easier to ingest.

Am I required to use Particle’s deduplication workflow?

It is completely up to you! Some clients of ours choose to handle deduplication logic on their own while others prefer to leverage Particle’s functionality for this. Additionally, clients of ours are able to choose which queries are deduplicated and which are not; it does not need to be an “all or nothing” configuration.

Please reach out to your Particle Health representative with any questions about how deduplication could improve your workflow.

How does it work?

Particle retrieves C-CDAs for a given patient from the network. Those C-CDAs are ingested and evaluated as a bundle of documents for duplicative data. Evaluation of whether data is duplicative is done by comparing discrete data elements and if all of the elements are identical, duplicative data are removed.

E.g. when evaluating if a medication is duplicative we consider the medication name, medication code, and medication dosage.

What data elements are deduplicated?

The following FHIR resources are what customers can expect to see deduplicated:

  • Allergies, CarePlan, Conditions, Encounters, Immunization, Medication/MedicationStatement, Procedures, and Observations

The following Boost Datasets are what customers can expect to see deduplicated:

  • Allergies, Problems, Encounters, Immunization, Medications, Procedures, Labs, Social Histories, and Vital Signs

Which data formats does deduplication apply to?

If you utilize our FHIR or FLAT outputs, the data sent by Particle will be deduplicated and end users will see less redundancy of data. This will speed up (1) data cleaning and integration efforts for engineers and (2) clinical data reviews, enabling providers and clinicians to spend less time reviewing data and more time with direct patient care.

C-CDA documents are source data and, as such, are not deduplicated by Particle.

Can I test deduplication in Sandbox?

Yes! Simply add -dedupe to the Family Name of a Sandbox patient to see the deduplicated dataset for that patient.

If you are querying for Kam Quark in our Flat data flow, for example, your query payload should look like this:

    "address_city": "Brooklyn",
    "address_lines": [
        "999 Dev Drive"
    "address_state": "NY",
    "date_of_birth": "1954-12-01",
    "family_name": "Quark-dedupe", // -dedupe added to the family_name field
    "given_name": "Kam",
    "gender": "Male",
    "postal_code": "11111",
    "purpose_of_use": "TREATMENT"

Who is deduplication for?

Any customer who is pulling the FHIR and FLAT payload formats from Particle.