use photo biometrics to identify patients and prevent medical errors

Increasing Patient Safety at Pediatric Cancer Centers

use photo biometrics to increase patient safety and prevent medical errors

A patient access rep uses photo biometrics on a pediatric patient for accurate identification.

Today, RightPatient® proudly announced a brand new initiative aimed at increasing patient safety by donating our photo biometrics patient identification solution to pediatric cancer centers across the country. Patient identification errors are a realistic problem across the entire healthcare industry but perhaps no more magnified in presenting a danger to patients than administering cancer treatments — an extremely dangerous scenario where outcomes could prove to be lethal.

Recognizing an opportunity to give back to the pediatric healthcare community and proactively prevent patient identification errors that have the potential to jeopardize child safety, our cloud-based biometric patient ID platform using photo biometrics follows a simple, intuitive, and hygienic photo capture process. With the ability to be used on patients as young as 12 months of age, RightPatient® provides pediatric cancer centers the opportunity to reduce the risk of medical errors linked to incorrect patient identification prior to administering radiation or chemotherapy treatment.

Details of the initiative can be found here: RightPatient® Donates Patient Identification Software to Pediatric Cancer Centers.

We understand the risks associated with patient misidentification in healthcare. It’s important to call attention to the dangers of not accurately identifying patients in all contexts, particularly those that present a clear and present lethal danger such as administering cancer treatments. Our mission is to offer the most comprehensive patient identification solution that increases patient safety, reduces costs, improves the quality of care, and enhances the patient experience.

 

 

patient safety builds trust in healthcare

Patient Safety and Medical Sanitation – Developing Trust in Your Medical Professional

patient safety builds trust in healthcare

Is there a link between medical office sanitation and building trust in medical professionals?

The following guest post on patient safety and medical sanitation was submitted by Rachelle Wilber.

It’s an experience we all have at some point. We walk in to the cold exam room where our vitals are taken and we are told that the doctor will be in shortly. We wonder if this doctor is going to listen to us and take our worries or concerns seriously. Sometimes, whether a hypochondriac or not, we worry about how clean and safe the clinic in which we sit is. Especially with how much foot traffic there is in medical centers. We also worry about engendering a healthy relationship between a patient and their doctor, there should be no fear. There are three key components to building a trusting relationship between doctors and patients: compassion, communication, and professional boundaries.

Sanitation

The relationship between patient and medical provider is unique in that we are essentially putting our life in a stranger’s hands and trusting that they have the best of intentions. If we’re going in for a medical procedure, we worry about things like infections and aftercare. While of these things should be considered, they shouldn’t be a source of anxiety for the patient. The first key to mitigating some of this worry is to speak with our doctor about it. He or she can help you understand how the clinic is run and reassure you about your personal safety as a patient. The paper on examination tables is changed for every individual patient who visits, and strict sanitary guidelines for equipment and utensils are adhered to. There is nothing to worry about, your doctor is your partner. Your health and safety is of the utmost importance to them.

Medical Misconceptions

The importance of this is demonstrated best by patients with catastrophic illnesses and entering into hospice care where not having a trusting relationship with their doctor can cause patients to feel much more doubt and fear about both the extent of their illness and what’s going to happen to them in hospice care. Professionals, like those at Corner Home Medical, know that there are many misconceptions around this sort of care. Many people look at it as being a place to go to die, when in reality it is a place, or care plan, designed to help relieve pain and ease suffering as much as possible.

Communication

Communicating with your doctor is just as important as his communication with you. Before your appointments, you should prepare with a list of your top concerns to address with them. If you have a pertinent question about how a nurse or phlebotomist took care of you and whether they used proper cleaning procedures when taking your blood, ask them how they were taught to take care of such things. You can always ask questions, medical professionals are they to serve your needs and want you to feel comfortable. They will willingly explain or expound upon any detail you might be wondering about. If a patient expects complete honesty from their medical professional, then they should also be as open and honest as possible.

Boundaries

While it is important to build this relationship with your doctor, it’s also important to keep firm boundaries. The patient cannot be a friend to their doctor and vice versa. If there is a component of friendship in the relationship, the patient or doctor may hold back key information or arguments from fear of hurting the other’s feelings, thus hindering the communication piece.
A 2014 study conducted by The General Hospital of Psychiatry found that a trusting relationship between patients and their care providers actually correlated to better recoveries and lessened disabilities. Learning about sanitation methods and your safety as a patient is worth your time. Effectively using these key elements and finding a doctor you are comfortable with can lead to better outcomes for your health.

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009221637700

FingerSCAN DecedentID Found Cleaner & Faster in Identifying the Deceased

FingerSCAN DecedentID Found Cleaner & Faster in Identifying the Deceased

using biometrics to identify the deceased

Biometric identification can help to identify deceased individuals.

The following guest post on the use of biometrics for identifying the deceased was submitted by Pranjal Mehta Sr. Digital Marketing Engineer with Big Market Research.

The FingerSCAN Decedent, recently introduced by WoVo Identity Solutions, promises a faster way to determine unknown decedents at a scene. Medical examiners and coroners have found the solution to be much cleaner compared to those available in the market, say experts at Big Market Research. Subject matter experts analyzing the industry size & share and growth opportunities of the healthcare biometrics industry reveal that by using a highly integrated biometrics fingerprint scanner from Watson, the FingerSCAN DecedentID can not only expedite but also simplify the complete identification process of a deceased individual. The equipment can identify the deceased within few hours rather than several days highlight the makers of FingerSCAN DecedentID. The is its ability to send alerts to the family members of the deceased faster makes the device highly capable.

Commenting on the latest innovation in the healthcare biometrics industry, Kathleen Erikson, the chief executive officer at the WoVo Identity Solutions, emphasized that she knew it from the very beginning that coroners as well as medical examiners were in need of highly affordable, mobile product that can enhance the entire identification process. She added “I had no idea that the benefits would extend beyond this so I’m very pleased and have plans for launching many more mobile apps to benefit various industry groups.”

The new device works wonder on commercial – of -the -shelf (COTS). Besides this, the FingerSCAN DecedentID also operates with Android and works efficiently with the mini fingerprint scanner from Watson. WoVo introduced the product for the first time at the Colorado Coroners Association Conference in June, 2016, following a pilot project where the device was tested. The device has definitely brought relief to many families who end up contacting the officials after a death is reported in a media. Moreover, the solution has proved advantageous for both, government officials and public.

Echoing his sentiments about the product Harris Neil, coroners at Denver Office of Medical Examiner said, “As the application has been moved to its current version, it’s actually possible for me to email a print card to the fingerprint technicians electronically from the scene and get an identity confirmation the same day.” FingerSCAN DecedentID is an FBI IAFIS – certified and has been approved with Appendix F approved. Furthermore, the fingerprint scanner has implemented a patented LES technology. These features make the device one of its kind biometric technology that serves the stringent image performance needs by FBI.

Today, technology advancements have played an eminent role in revolutionizing the healthcare biometrics industry. Manufacturers are focusing more on making the solution affordable to cut down on the healthcare service cost. With so much happening in the healthcare biometrics industry, FingerSCAN DecedentID brings a ray of hope when it comes to identifying a deceased and informing his or her family members.

Pranjal Mehta is a highly distinguished digital marketing specialist working actively in the Life Science segment at Big Market Research.

3 Unexpected Ways Medical ID Theft Can Harm Your Pocket

3 Unexpected Ways Medical ID Theft Can Harm Your Pocket

prevent medical ID theft

Learn more about the top three unexpected things you need to know to protect your medical identity.

The following guest post covering the impact of medical ID theft was submitted by Michael Rogers.

Are you the recent victim of medical ID theft? Do you know someone who recently discovered their identity had been stolen? If you or someone you know has experienced someone stealing your identity, then you know how unsettling and upsetting it can be. But what you might not realize in the moment is that having your medical ID stolen actually can result in major problems for your bank account. Read on to learn our top three unexpected things you need to know right now about protecting your medical ID and how a stolen identity can result in problems in your pocket. Knowing is power — and you can do something about it before too much damage is done. Read on:

Tip #1: Data Breaches Mean Bad News for You

Did you know that healthcare organizations admit that they don’t have enough security to withstand many cyberattacks? Data breaches to healthcare organizations are at a loss of millions and are under constant attack by malware. What does this mean for you? It means that your medical data is vulnerable, and when an online thief gets ahold of your Social Security number and other medical ID information — including passwords to your healthcare accounts — then you could begin to see not only your healthcare savings account empty out for procedures and products you didn’t authorize, but you also may see your bank account empty out. That’s because many of us use the same passwords over and over again. So don’t be surprised if someone steals your medical ID information and then uses that information to break into your bank and credit card accounts. Change your passwords regularly and encrypt your online sessions to protect yourself.

Tip #2: Unauthorized Procedures

Many of us have healthcare savings accounts. They are a great way to get tax-free cash into an account and to use that cash for doctor’s visits, surgeries, procedures and even products like HIV-testing kits and pharmaceuticals. When someone steals your medical ID information, however, that means they can get access to this account. They can then go online and begin purchasing items that qualify for the account. They also can begin the process of filing insurance claims for fraudulent surgeries and procedures.

Tip #3: Exhausted Medical Benefits

When you become the victim of medical ID theft, you may find that your insurance benefits are no longer available to you when you need them. In most of the cases ID theft victims start to panic and do not know where to start from. If you have any doubts, are any reasons to suspect being ID theft victim you should immediately contact either your local insurance provider or healthcare organization in order to minimize possible losses. Many victims don’t realize this until something happens — like they are rushed to the hospital — and they find their insurance has been denied. Online thieves will steal your information so that they can get the procedures they need in your name. This kind of fraud can take years to unravel — coming at a huge out-of-pocket expense to you. When you need to go to the hospital, you need to go. You can’t wait. And if you’re the victim of fraud, you’ll likely be paying tens of thousands of dollars of that you don’t have because your insurance has been denied.

Protect and Empower Now

Sometimes knowing how you could be vulnerable to a medical ID attack is the first step. When your online presence is threatened and someone steals your social security number or insurance premium information, then not only are you at a big financial risk for procedures and bills you shouldn’t have to pay for — but those breaches could lead to breaches in other areas of your finances, such as your bank account. As you move forward, remember to monitor your medical ID information and medical online activity regularly. The more you know about what is happening in your medical or insurance accounts online, the more quickly you will be able to see when something isn’t quite right. In addition, remember to change your passwords regularly, and don’t use the same passwords for multiple accounts. With an estimated 2.3 million Americans falling victim to medical ID theft in 2014, it’s possible that you also could experience this situation. So stay ahead of the game and protect your pocket with these three key tips.

Michael Rogers- is experienced Director of Operations, manager and educator from USInsuranceAgents.com. Michael is not only well-educated insurance professional, but also very interesting interlocutor, with deep knowledge of modern arts and sports.

using biometrics to identify patients with alzheimer and dementia patients

How Biometric ID Can Help Alzheimer/Dementia Patients

using biometric ID to identify patients with alzheimer and dementia patients

Could biometric identification help Alzheimer/Dementia patients?

The following guest post on using biometric ID for alzheimer and dementia patients was submitted by Laurence Banville.

Dementia is often associated with aging adults. Historically it was perceived as a “normal” part of getting older. We know better now. Dementia is a disease, and just like other diseases, it isn’t normal. Cases of dementia seem to be on the rise in our modern society; Alzheimer’s is a disease that includes progressive dementia as one of its symptoms. It attacks the brain, resulting in loss of memory and thinking skills to the point that victims cannot care for themselves at all. It is estimated that more than five million people currently suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

Why Use Biometrics?

Biometrics involves the measure of biological characteristics that are individual and nearly impossible to mimic. Things such as fingerprints, irises, voice patterns, gait, palm-prints, vein patterns on the back of the hand, and DNA are being considered as identification methods for everything from cellphones to job applications. The field of biometrics is only becoming bigger.

The world is surging with biometric interest, particularly among governments that are always on the prowl for security uses for new technology. It is estimated that governments globally will spend up to $122 million in biometric research and implementation by 2019.

In 2010, two senators proposed a bill to President Obama proposing a national biometric identification card that could be used by employers to stave off illegal immigrants. Six years later the U.S. is still debating the benefit of such a card.

Meanwhile, Nigeria is adding biometrics to their national identity cards through linking bank accounts to state-administered IDs. The political atmosphere in the United States is still more focused on biometrics for security rather than the other practical uses of the technology. One of the uses that can be looked into is a biometric identification card for Alzheimer’s patients and others who suffer from dementia.

Identification Of Alzheimer’s Patients

Dementia sufferers and their families would greatly benefit from an identification card that relied on biometrics. Alzheimer’s patients and others with dementia frequently wander off and become easily agitated if disturbed. This leaves them in a dangerous predicament should they wander into a busy street. As the disease progresses, Alzheimer’s patients can become non-verbal, unable to take care of their basic needs, including eating and sleeping. In situations where Alzheimer’s patients need to have their healthcare records regularly updated or exchanged, an identification card would allow medical personnel to pull up a patient’s identification and health records simply by scanning their palm or fingerprint or using iris recognition.

The CDC reports that death records indicated almost 84,000 deaths due to Alzheimer’s in 2010. A 2014 article published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia notes that this number was vastly under-reported. According to a study conducted by the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP), this number was closer to 600,000.

There are however, private organizations that offer patient identification services through palm-print or hand-vein imagery; but these solutions are expensive and not accessible to those who go through government insurance. Perhaps soon the healthcare industry will create a national identification program specifically aimed to help identify patients who cannot communicate their health problems and the grossly high mortality rate of Alzheimer’s will be reduced.

Looking Further Into The Future Of Healthcare

The use of biometrics for security is well-documented. Cellphone users now have the option of using their fingerprint to gain access to their phones. Furthermore, many online educational institutions use biometrics to authenticate students who are taking a class assessment.

When it comes to healthcare, now is the time for the industry to get involved in biometrics. Some healthcare facilities are considering biometrics for use in positive patient authentication to reduce the occurrence of medical mistakes caused by misidentification. Hopefully, this will get the ball rolling to lessen the various medical as well as other issues associated with aging.

About The Author; Laurence Banville, Esquire:

Laurence Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law with a reputation for thorough preparation and a balanced approach to his clients. He is a down-to-earth bright young attorney who has been honored with the Top 40 under 40 award. This recognition is given to the top 40 ranked attorneys across the United States who are under 40 years of age. He represents plaintiffs and in particular of nursing home abuse.

use photo biometrics to identify patients and prevent medical errors

Are Children Eligible to Enroll in Biometric Patient ID Solutions?

protect a child's medical identity with biometric patient ID

A patient access representative takes a photo of a child using an iris recognition camera to protect her medical identity.

The rapid spread of using biometric patient ID solutions has helped to increase safety, reduce duplicate medical records, eliminate healthcare fraud, and strengthen patient data integrity. As most healthcare providers who implement biometrics for patient ID quickly realize – patient participation is the most important factor to ensure deployment success and realize the strongest return on investment.

Traditionally, we see the use of biometrics as a strong security solution to protect our own medical identities, but what about children? Are they eligible to enroll in a biometric patient ID platform and realize the same protection as adults? The short answer is: It depends on the biometric patient identification solution that you select.

Often overlooked as a key demographic that is just as susceptible to the perils of medical identity theft and inaccurate identification, protecting a child’s medical identity is just as, if not more important than protecting our own identities. On a recent podcast with Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of The Identity Theft Resource Center, I asked Eva how important it is to protect a child’s medical identity and what is the earliest age that a child can have their medical identity stolen? Here is what she said:

“Protecting a child’s medical identity is definitely a growing concern in healthcare. And, it isn’t only protecting their medical identity but their identity as a whole. People generally do not believe that (medical ID theft) is a crime that affects children, but I can tell you that we (Identity Theft Resource Center) handle and re mediate cases of child ID theft on a daily basis. It’s really about ensuring that a child’s personal information doesn’t make it into the hands of a thief. The crux of the problem with child medical ID theft is the time of discovery…the most common ways that people find out they are victims of ID theft is because they are trying to accomplish something and they hit a barrier.

If you think about it, children just don’t engage with the outside world the same way adults do – they aren’t out applying for credit, trying to get a driver’s license (before the age of 16) and go through background checks. All of these external things that pop up and make us take notice of our identities, they just don’t happen with children, so that’s where it becomes a parent’s responsibility. For parents, it’s all about taking as many proactive steps as you can. Some states allow you to freeze your child’s credit, and you can certainly always request your child’s medical records to go through them and ensure their accuracy. As a parent, you need to read the Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) after your child has a pediatric visit.”

I then asked Eva what the earliest age is that a child can have their medical identity stolen. She offered this response:

“I hate to say this because it almost sounds like fear mongering but it’s absolutely true – it can actually be before the child is born. If a criminal just decides to make up a social security number that hasn’t been issued yet and starts to use it, it doesn’t necessarily make it back to the social security administration office so your child is born, you go to get a social security number issued to them and you receive it but a criminal has already been using it – so child ID theft can actually happen before they are born.”

Clearly, there is a sense of urgency to ensure a child’s medical identity is protected from the moment they are born! The problem that some healthcare providers face who have implemented certain biometric hardware modalities for patient ID is that not all are eligible for children to enroll. Instead, some biometric patient ID solution providers recommend that a child not enroll until they reach a certain age, or until certain physiological attributes are mature enough to be recognized by a hardware device. This essentially excludes children from leveraging the identity protection and security advantages of using biometric patient ID for identification at the age where they may perhaps be most vulnerable to having their identities stolen. 

The key for any healthcare provider seeking to implement biometrics for patient ID is to deploy a solution that has the ability to capture a child’s unique biometric profile at the youngest age possible and then use that as their identity credential for the rest of their lives without the inconvenience of re-enrolling as a child matures or the security risks of not being eligible to enroll at all.

Protecting a child’s medical identity is among the many reasons that we recommend the use of photo biometrics for patient identification in healthcare. Children as young as 10 months old can enroll and since the iris is a human physiological attribute that forms at 10 months of age and remains static throughout our lifetimes, it represents a viable and stable credential for accurate identification. 

As more healthcare organizations around the world evaluate the use of biometrics for patient identification, it is critical that all possible patient options and scenarios are addressed to maximize return on investment and ensure that any patient, no matter how young or old, can take advantage of the benefits to protect their medical identities. 

For a full version of our podcast with Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of The Identity Theft Resource Center, click here.