I have always tried doing at the point of data entry. Obviously no code is 
perfect, and either is the object between the keyboard and the chair. My 
experience is that few Administrators would take the time to filter through 
duplicates. Getting them to do system maintenance was almost impossible. They 
had too many other responsibilities. Typically they only worked on this if a 
problem was identified. For that we have a built in record merger.

Application: Medical

If a phone number is associated with the record for an individual - then I will 
use that. How it is implemented depends on the application (even within the 

Lets say I am adding in a person. They enter in a name (which is not that good 
as people will call themselves by different names). I remember one patient that 
would present with a different name (About 6 personalities) in a walk in 
clinic. If a new record was going to be created they would try and get a phone 
number from the patient. When the phone number was put in a dialog would come 
up displaying all the names of people with the same phone number. It let the 
staff (if they ‘felt like it’) to try and filter for duplicates at that point.

For those staff that were diligent it prevented many duplicates in the medical 
data base. We had clinics that had 420,000 ‘regular’ patients. Then they had a 
walk in that had another 500,000 irregular patients. Their Administration was 
more eager to keep the duplicates down.

We also used the Health Insurance Number as another indicator. Not all 
patient’s would present with their health care card though. With ‘universal’ 
health care it is not as critical.

Application: National Order / Deliver Desk

We do the same in Canada for Postal Code and Street name

With a national order delivery system we had the addresses divided up so that 
we could look up Postal Codes (Canada) by address. This was also used for 
keeping duplicates down. This is when I learned that in Canada Postal Codes 
change weekly (nationally - there are postal codes changing somewhere).

Looking in your system for unique or even semi-unique data can be used to help 
keep duplicates down.
In the medical system we let them have a picture in the patient’s record that 
was presented (if security settings permitted) at the time of entry to the 

Those are the ones that I have used.


Jody Bevan
ARGUS Productions Inc.

Argus Productions Inc. <>

> On Aug 8, 2017, at 8:25 AM, Chip Scheide via 4D_Tech <> 
> wrote:
> Jody,
> what are your normal duplicate reducing/removal technic(s)?

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