patient identification for patient safety

Mobile Patient Identification with the RightPatient Smart App

patient identification for patient safety

Demonstration of the RightPatient Smart App to a HIMSS attendee.

Amidst the hoopla and chaos of this year’s HIMSS conference in Orlando, we introduced a new feature for our cloud-based RightPatient biometric patient identification solution: the RightPatient Smart App. This is kind of a big deal for the healthcare industry because the RightPatient Smart App has the power to turn any smartphone or tablet into a powerful patient recognition device.

In other words, this is anything but a ho-hum development in the concerted effort to adopt more modern patient ID technology. Allow me to explain…

As we have written about before, increased recognition of the critical importance of accurate patient identification for patient safety has played an important role in our own research and development of the RightPatient cloud biometric patient identification solution.  I don’t think I’m alone in saying that most patients see patient identification as the part of our healthcare experience that starts with sitting in front of a registrar at a healthcare facility so they can obtain our insurance information and make sure we are who we claim to be.

However, anyone who has spent time as a patient in a healthcare environment knows that most medical facilities don’t stop with establishing accurate identification at the point of registration. You may have your ID checked before medication disbursement, prior to the administration of a medical procedure, or perhaps just before surgery. This is important for patient safety, and to reduce the risk of adverse events from wrong patient procedures. 

The problem is that many patient identification mistakes are still regularly made across the healthcare industry. This can cause irreparable harm to patients and providers in many cases. Fortunately, we provide the most innovative technology in the market to solve this problem. 

For example, the RightPatient Smart App is a modern, mobile patient identification solution that fills an important void to help healthcare organizations improve compliance and patient safety. Here is a breakdown of the Smart App features and their value to patient identification in healthcare:

  • Mobile patient ID ubiquity: As mentioned earlier, the RightPatient Smart App turns any smartphone or tablet into a powerful mobile patient identification tool. Is this a big deal? Absolutely. The Smart App improves the ability of clinicians and others responsible for care administration to be responsible stewards of patient safety and compliance. It can be used as a multi-factor authentication tool along with another form of identification or act as a standalone patient ID device.  Recognize patients anywhere, anytime, with any smart device.
  • Patient photo: The Smart App matches against the patient photo that was captured by RightPatient during registration for positive identification. We have previously written about the importance of capturing high-quality patient photos and linking them to their electronic health records. RightPatient ensures that a standardized, high-quality enrollment photo is always captured. This increases the efficacy of the Smart App and ensures that providers have images that they can rely on for clinical context.
  • Identifying unconscious patients: There are few things in healthcare more risky than treating an unconscious patient without access to their medical history. The RightPatient Smart App allows clinicians to easily identify unconscious patients through their smartphone to retrieve the patient’s medical record. The Smart App opens the door for accurate patient identification in traditional and non-traditional settings (e.g. – oncology, medical records release, EMTs, home health) – places where perhaps verifying a patient’s identity is required but may not have traditionally been on the compliance radar. The Smart App fills in the patient ID compliance holes that exist in a healthcare organization – enabling higher levels of patient safety and helping to reduce medical errors and risk.

Medical errors caused by patient misidentification will continue to rise with increased data sharing and human error. In fact, the ECRI institute recently included patient identification errors in its most recent annual top-10 list of patient safety concerns. Powered by the RightPatient cloud platform, the Smart App will strengthen patient safety, reduce risk, and more effectively humanize the healthcare experience – a critical element of improving patient satisfaction and empathetic care delivery. Design and development of this new feature was a direct result of our 15 years of experience in biometric technology, listening to the needs of our customers, and delivering a practical solution that increases the power and reach of our industry-leading patient identification technology. You asked. We listened.

Have questions about the RightPatient Smart App? Drop us an email at info@rightpatient.com or visit here to request a free demo.

<p><script src=”//platform.linkedin.com/in.js” type=”text/javascript”></script> <script type=”IN/MemberProfile” data-id=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/mtrader/” data-format=”inline” data-related=”false”></script></p>

data centers in healthcare

Technology In The Medical Field: How Data Centers Have Transformed The Industry

data centers in healthcare

The advent of data centers has helped the healthcare industry connect with the rapid rise in digitization. Photo courtesy of pexels.com)

The following guest post was submitted by Kara Masterson.

While hospitals and health care centers once used paper records only, today’s clinics and hospitals use almost entirely electronic health records, including digital scans, online drug records and web-based diagnostics. All of these technologies are hidden in the data center, which is typically a large building on or away from the campus. These data centers have certainly changed the face of health care.

They Allow for Seamless Patient Records

Data centers make it much easier for clinics and hospitals center to share patient records. For example, someone who has completed a medical technologist online program and who is studying blood samples in one part of the country can upload test results to a doctor across the country, and the doctor can then store the results in the data center.

They Speed Up Health Care

Because patient data is kept in one centralized area, health care can be sped up from the moment one steps in the emergency room until he or she is discharged. Doctors no longer have to wait to treat a patient until they receive and look through a lengthy patient chart. In addition, doctors who are at home can view how their patients are doing via records and results on data centers.

They Improve Patient Outcomes

According to healthit.gov, electronic health records significantly improve patient outcomes in numerous ways. They keep new doctors from prescribing medications that would interact with other prescriptions. They keep a close eye on patient allergies, and they automatically bring up warnings for doctors to see on certain patient diagnoses. This is particularly important in the emergency room setting.

They Help with Mobile Health

According to Exscribe doctors are increasingly taking advantage of data centers and electronic health records to communicate with and even treat their patients using mobile technology. They can communicate via health records and check test results online. This is particularly important for doctors practicing in remote and rural settings.

Data centers have taken all of the information that doctors, nurses and other health care workers used to have to dig for and have put it at their fingertips. With a few keystrokes and clicks, clinicians can know a patient’s health history, find out if there are any potential drug interactions, regulate a pacemaker and diagnose a patient who is miles away from them. Certainly in the next decade or two, even more tremendous changes will come to the health industry thanks to impressive data centers.

About the author: Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

wearable devices are a threat to patient safety

Is Your Wearable Health Device A Risk to Your Privacy?

wearable devices are a threat to patient safety

Should patients be concerned about their privacy when using connected health devices? (Photo courtesy of FreePik.com)

The following guest post on wearables and patient privacy was submitted by Joseph Mack.

It seems every time you turn around these days someone is staring at their wrist to check their vitals on their smartwatch or wearable health device. You see them at the gym, on the local hiking trails, and you see them on your coworkers at work. They’re popular items and that’s because more people are recognizing the benefits of a focus on a healthy lifestyle and these devices can help you take it to the next level. That’s not to say they don’t raise any concerns and we’re going to take a look at why you should be exercising a little caution when you wear one.

The Benefits of Wearables

Information is power so having access to real time health data can be of significant benefit to you. There’s no point in being an ostrich with your head in the sand. If you have things you need to improve in your life why not get out in front of the problem? A wearable health device can help you do this.

Wearable health devices can track your heart rate, measure your activity levels, and monitor your sleep patterns. All of these things are vital to good health and understanding patterns can help to identify problems early so that you can make adjustments in your life that can improve your health.
Before the advent of wearable health devices we tended to rely on our healthcare providers heavily to monitor our health and identify any potential concerns. The problem with this system was that we usually didn’t find out about health concerns before we were already at risk. The data our wearable devices collect can catch issues before they become a real issue and reduce our personal stress levels.

Popular Devices and their Risks

Some of the most popular wearable health devices on the market today are those produced by Fitbit. They offer various devices at different price points and they are generally benign with the information simply being shared to an app. In fact, you can share your data over a Wi-Fi connection without ever having to connect with the internet. You have a lot of control over what data you actually share and while any information stored on your smartphone is potentially at risk the risk is minimal in this case.

For devices such as the Zephyr Anywhere BioPatch things are not so black and white. This device can measure a whole host of biometric information which can be ideal for the athlete looking to improve their performance, but all of that information is shared to a remote device or app and that information is vulnerable. The determined hacker can easily access a lot of sensitive health information that could be used against you by health insurance providers and potential or existing employers.

Who Has Access to Your Data?

When you share any information to your smartphone from your wearable health device that information can potentially be accessed by the company that manufacturers your device and your phone company. This is of particular concern if you’re using various cloud services that these devices offer. Those cloud services may be convenient, but any time you use one you’re exposing yourself to a certain level of risk.

It’s a good idea to read your end user licence agreement (EULA) carefully. There may be a clause in there that allows them to share your data with third parties without your knowledge or consent. It’s always a good idea to know and understand your rights. While the clauses in your EULA may seem relatively benign you should always do your homework. If you can have a look at the EULA of a device before you buy it even better!

A report by the American University and the Center for Digital Democracy found that the fragmented healthcare sector currently fails to protect the private information collected by health wearables. Many of this information has been collected by Big Data, and has the potential to offer many benefits as more data can help optimize treatments. However there can be scary repercussions of sharing this information without proper regulations.


How Could Your Own Data Be Used Against You?

We’ve already touched upon it briefly, but it bears repeating – be very cautious when using any type of cloud service associated with a device. As surprising as it may seem, the security of information is a bit of an afterthought when it comes to wearable devices. When you use one you’re gathering a lot of information about yourself that could easily become public record. There are cases where company health insurance providers have denied coverage to employees because of data collected on their own devices. It may be best to keep the data you’re collecting to yourself.

The other thing to keep in mind is that when you share your data online it may be stored in multiple locations over time. These different layers of data can be hard to track and even when you think you’ve deleted information that you’ve shared online there’s a good chance it can still be accessed. With some devices it’s not easy to delete any data that’s been saved – if it’s possible at all. It’s always best to understand what you’re getting yourself into before you commit to anything.

Some Things You Can Do to Protect Yourself

Now that we’ve discussed some of the potential dangers of wearable health devices it’s time to take a step back and look at the positive sides. These devices can help you improve your approach to your overall health by keeping you focused and informed. They key is to understand the privacy issues associated with any device before you purchase one and try to select a device that provides you with the most control over your information.
If you have to spend a bit more for a more secure device wait until you can afford it and opt for the more secure device. If there is firmware that can be updated make sure it’s up to date as security patches can be vital to securing your information. Owning a wearable health device can be a great thing as long as you understand how to use it while protecting your information at the same time.

This is a guest post by Joseph Mack from smarthomeSAGE, a tech blog that analyzes the impact that smart home technology (such as video doorbells on home life).