biometrics for patient identification increases patient safety

Lessons Learned at this Year’s HFMA ANI Conference

biometrics for patient identification increases patient safety

Although the use of biometrics for patient ID is not a new concept, many are still unaware of its benefits.

The following post on patient identification in healthcare was submitted by Jeremy Floyd, Healthcare Director at RightPatient®

We were excited at the chance to again participate in the Healthcare Financial Management (HFMA) trade show held this week at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Attendance was brisk, the exhibit hall was packed with vendors displaying the latest technological health IT solutions, and attendees were excited to learn and explore for new opportunities to improve revenue cycle management, coding, and business analytics. As is the case with all conferences and trade shows the RightPatient staff attends each year, we approached the event as a means to learn more about the unique needs of hospital CFO’s, revenue cycle managers, and all those who have a hand in healthcare finance, plus have a chance to demonstrate our own products and services as part of a concerted strategy to improve patient identification in healthcare and to address all of the ancillary conditions that lack of an accurate patient ID strategy can bring to the industry. Here is a recap of what we learned:

1. Despite the fact that using biometrics for patient identification is not a new concept, many still do not know or understand it’s benefits: Perhaps the biggest surprise for us at this year’s HFMA ANI annual conference was the number of CFOs and Revenue Cycle Managers that we spoke with who are still unclear or unaware of the benefits that using biometrics for patient identification can offer healthcare organizations. We talked extensively on this blog about how biometric patient identification positively impacts healthcare information management,  how and why patient identification technology should prevent medical identity theft at the point of enrollment, the ability of iris biometrics to identify unconscious patients and how important accurate patient identification is along the care continuum

The benefits of deploying biometrics for patient identification resonate well beyond patient safety, and include a direct impact on revenue cycles and billing. Many of our existing customers have already seen a direct correlation between accurate patient identification and the revenue cycle, demonstrated in their ability to more accurately bill for services rendered, and offer a concrete audit trail of services provided in cases of dispute.

2. Many still feel that patients will not accept or participate in a biometric identification initiative: As we recently outlined in a blog post, our field research indicates that over 99% of patients accept the use of iris biometrics for identification and willingly enroll in the RightPatient system after they understand what it is being used for, how it protects their safety and privacy, and the protection if offers against medical identity theft and healthcare fraud. Patients do understand the use of biometrics for identification, contrary to popular belief that the technology will be only tepidly accepted.

3. Experience matters: Several people we spoke with at this year’s HFMA ANI show indicated their unwillingness to adopt biometrics for patient identification from a vendor with a short track record, an absence of real world experience in biometric technology, and a customer base that doesn’t include large hospital networks with complicated infrastructures and a wide network. Fortunately, RightPatient has this experience and a deep customer base of both large and small healthcare networks, a platform that already has pre-built versions compatible with all the major EHR providers (Epic, McKesson, CPSI, Meditech, and Cerner®). Plus we offer additional benefits to our biometric patient identification solution such as:

  • A HIPAA compliant SaaS cloud service designed to create a single, ubiquitous, federated patient identity
  • A seamless interface with IBM’s Initiate® platform to assign a unique, single patient identity profile across an Enterprise Master Patient Index (EMPI) kept authentic through our biometric matching system
  • The ability to secure remote personal health information (PHI) data access to safeguard patient privacy and help prevent data breaches that can lead to fraud and medical ID theft
  • A portable, ergonomic mobile biometric patient identification device to provide convenience and portability when identifying patients bedside, in home health, or in special cases within the emergency department.

We had a very positive experience at this year’s HFMA ANI conference and would like to thank the HFMA staff and all attendees we met for helping us to continue our mission of bringing biometrics for patient identification to more healthcare organizations throughout the world!

 

biometric patient identificationJeremy has worked in the biometrics industry for nearly a decade and has real world experience with fingerprint, palm vein, finger vein, iris and face recognition technologies. He currently oversees the RightPatient™ Healthcare division of M2SYS Technology, including sales, business development and project management. Before taking over the Healthcare unit, Jeremy spearheaded the growth of the core biometrics division, working closely with Fortune 500 clients like ADP, JP Morgan & BAE Systems to implement biometrics in large identity management projects. 

healthcare technology is rapidly evolving and helping to save more patient lives

How Technology is Saving Lives: The Healthcare Revolution

The following guest post was submitted by Mission Safety Services, a safety services company dedicated to providing the highest level of safety training services across all of our divisions.

We live in an age where the use of technology dominates our lives and these technological developments have had an amazingly positive impact on the healthcare industry. Technology has heavily influenced the improvement in our health and the increased life expectancy we are seeing today.

In particular, the progress we have made in cancer research and the greater survival rates have been heavily influenced by developments in technology. It’s amazing that technology played a role in saving 1.2 million lives between 1991 and 2009 thanks to progress in cancer treatments and detection.

Malaria is thought to have killed more people than all wars put together and technology is helping reduce this startling statistic. Something as simple as a bed net with insecticide has reduced malaria in children under 5 by 20%.

Also, stem cell research has limitless possibilities to save lives. We are still progressing with this development but diseases such as heart disease and alzheimer’s disease may be hugely reduced through stem cell research and we are already making good progress.

Let’s not forget the importance of the internet and how it has increased healthcare efficiency. Healthcare facilities are reaching patients through social media and doctors have access to thousands of medical books at the touch of a button.

This info-graphic from Mission Safety Services outlines the progress we have made, the work that is being done, and possible future developments in technology that have potential to make real change.

healthcare technology is rapidly evolving and helping to save more patient lives

using iris biometrics for patient identification helps increase patient safety

Iris Biometrics Deployments Increasing for Patient Identification in Healthcare

using iris biometrics for patient identification helps increase patient safety

Terrebonne General Medical Center (TGMC) is the latest hospital to leverage the advantages of iris biometrics for patient identification.

The following post was written by David Cuberos, Enterprise Sales Consultant with RightPatient®

This week, we announced another hospital that has adopted our biometric patient identification platform using iris biometrics. Like most hospitals who adopt biometrics for patient ID, Terrebonne Regional Medical Center in Houma, LA conducted a thorough evaluation of several different biometric modalities (including fingerprint and palm vein) and ultimately concluded that iris biometrics was the best fit to help accomplish the goals established before the deployment – reduction of duplicate and overlay medical records, elimination of healthcare fraud and medical identity theft, patient data integrity improvement, and raising patient safety standards. Plus, Terrebonne staff recognized that iris biometrics for identification is readily accepted by patients – a key metric to ensure deployment success.

As we continue our journey to help hospitals across the world establish safer and more secure methods of identifying patients to ensure their safety across the care continuum, increasingly we see more healthcare organizations opting to deploy iris biometrics over other modalities because of the distinct, unique advantages that this technology offers:

  • Hygiene –  Iris biometrics used a sophisticated digital camera to take a photograph of a patient, requiring no contact with a hardware device by the patient to help support hospital infection control and eliminate the spread of germs, bacteria, and illness.
  • Biometric matching type – The only way to prevent duplicate medical records and healthcare fraud while at the same time improving patient data integrity is to deploy a biometric patient identification solution that compares a captured biometric enrollment template and compares it to all stored templates in a database during enrollment – otherwise known as a “one-to-many” comparison. It is proven to be the only way to increase patient data integrity across an HIE or IDN and iris biometrics has the unique ability to deliver this one-to-many biometric matching type. In addition, if healthcare organizations seek to leverage biometrics for patient identification to identify unconscious patients, the only way to accomplish this is through a one-to-many biometric matching system.
  • Search speed & accuracy – Iris biometrics for patient identification in healthcare offers the fastest and most accurate technology on the market. For example, iris biometrics has the capability to search a database containing millions of records and provide a match or non-match within seconds. Plus, iris recognition is widely viewed across the biometrics industry as one of, if not the most accurate biometric identification technology.
  • Stability – Did you know that the human iris fully develops at 10 months of age, and remains stable throughout your life? Wikipedia describes the iris as:

“…an internal organ that is well protected against damage and wear by a highly transparent and sensitive membrane (the cornea). This distinguishes it from fingerprints, which can be difficult to recognize after years of certain types of manual labor. The iris is mostly flat, and its geometric configuration is only controlled by two complementary muscles (the sphincter pupillae and dilator pupillae) that control the diameter of the pupil. This makes the iris shape far more predictable than, for instance, that of the face.” (via Wikipedia, http://bit.ly/1B8Zlls)

This stability eliminates the need to re-enroll patients as is the case with other biometric patient identifications systems that rely on alternate credentials, such as palm vein.

Our experience across a wide variety of healthcare environments with varying conditions has proven that when offered the choice of modalities, more hospitals are turning to iris biometrics for patient identification because of the unique advantages it offers over the alternatives. We expect to see iris biometrics for patient ID continue to proliferate around the world as the single, trusted source to ensure the highest levels of patient safety and to help improve patient data integrity both at the local and national levels.

Watch a short video on the reasons that Terrebonne implemented iris biometrics for patient identification: 

What are your thoughts on the use of iris recognition for patient identification in healthcare? Please share your thoughts and comments with us below.

biometric patient identification prevents duplicate medical recordsDavid Cuberos is an Enterprise Sales Consultant with RightPatient® helping hospitals and healthcare organizations realize the benefits of implementing biometrics for patient identification to; increase patient safety, eliminate duplicate medical records and overlays, and prevent medical identity theft and healthcare fraud.