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RightPatient for patient ID to reduce duplicate medical records

Photo Biometrics Patient Identification Testimonial – University Health Care System

RightPatient for patient ID to reduce duplicate medical records

The University Health Care System implemented RightPatient to help protect patient safety and reduce duplicate medical records.

We always relish an opportunity to visit hospitals and healthcare organizations who have made the smart choice to adopt photo biometrics for patient identification. Who better to share their story about events and conditions that lead to their decision to invest in RightPatient® Cloud?

We had an opportunity to sit down with George Ann Phillips, Administrative Director, Revenue Cycle at University Health Care in Augusta, GA to ask her why the hospital decided to invest in photo biometrics to increase patient safety, reduce chart corrections, duplicate medical records, improve revenue cycle collections, and humanize health IT by linking the patient’s photo to their electronic health record (EHR). Prior to implementing RightPatient®, University’s situation was not much different than many other healthcare organizations – a desire to prevent duplicate medical records, improve patient safety, streamline registration, and improve the patient experience.

After carefully evaluating RightPatient® against other biometric modalities, University decided that photo biometrics was a smarter investment and would help them to achieve their aforementioned goals. University staff liked the fact that by capturing the patient’s photo and storing it in the RightPatient® Cloud, they suddenly had the means to identify patients at any point along the care continuum – before portal login, during telemedicine sessions, and prior to administering medication or providing any clinical service. Clinicians immediately offered positive feedback to George Ann saying that having the patient’s photo linked to their medical record was an outstanding way to personalize their approach and gave them additional piece of mind to avoid any medical errors.

George Ann also pointed out that she was much more comfortable implementing photo biometrics because it supported hospital infection control policies and did not require the patient to touch any device to avoid the risk of contracting an illness or spreading germs. RightPatient® is the only biometric patient ID solution that is contactless and the only solution that truly has the ability to identify a patient no matter where they are along the care continuum. No other biometric identification solution can claim this.

University’s return on investment (ROI) has been strong since adopting RightPatient®:

  • 20% reduction in chart corrections
  • 99% patient acceptance (54,000+ patients enrolled so far)
  • Rapid deployment expansion to physician offices
  • Positive feedback from C-suite
  • Clinicians love seeing the patient’s photo
  • Streamlined patient registration
  • Improved patient experience

Take a moment to watch the short video here:

 

Thank you to George Ann Phillips and Beverly Bell from University for their assistance to make this video. Please share with a friend or colleague!

how to increase patient safety in healthcare

The Last 10 Years: How Technology Has Increased Patient Safety

how to increase patient safety in healthcare

Advances in health IT have increased patient safety in healthcare.

The following guest post on how health IT technology has increased patient safety in healthcare was submitted by Hannah Whittenly.

With healthcare demand growing in an aging population, medicine has become a competitive field. It’s increasingly difficult for administrators and staff to manage facilities and costs while still maintaining quality and safety in patient care. Thankfully, new technologies over the past decade are helping to keep patients protected. Here are just a few of them:

Image Archives
Picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) are cross-platform, online repositories for medical imaging records like x-rays and MRIs. PACS enables file sharing so that medical consultants and specialists from anywhere in the world can review diagnostic imaging in moments. Even within the same facility, all physicians and nurses are looking at one common, complete set of medical images.

Patients can accumulate quite a lot of these images over a lifetime of medical care. New PACS systems can automatically archive older images that are no longer relevant and organize new ones. Shared, updated information leads to faster diagnoses and more effective treatments.

Bar Codes and RFID

Bar codes and RFID chips are a way to instantly provide information. While they’ve been around for a while, mobile apps and better optical and radio frequency scanners are making them incredibly convenient. Bar codes or chips can be affixed to equipment, bottles of medication, patient beds, entry and exit points, and even patient and employee badges.
Strategically placed scanners can record and track movements so that nothing is misplaced and workflows can be analyzed for better efficiency. Monitoring also helps to provide better physical security for staff and patients. In emergencies, wandering patients or needed staff members or equipment can be almost instantly located.

Health Information Technology

Modern HIT systems are becoming praised as the solution to streamlining hospital practices. Efficient digital record keeping and reporting is helping to eliminate medical errors that were once a source of concern for patients, administrators, and insurers. Mistakes sometimes led to a patient being forced to undergo needless surgeries or treatment, or given the wrong medication.
Unique patient IDs associated with electronic records have helped to overcome this problem. Sinus and allergy tests and treatments, like those that Premier Surgical Associates does, improve the quality of life for patients of all ages, and now become permanent records for future reference. Every detail in any treatment is electronically documented to keep records updated and provide opportunities for analysis and improvement.

Biometric Patient Identifiers

There are a few areas of the human body that are unique to individuals: fingerprints and iris patterns for example. Because those areas are completely unique, they can actually be used to identify a person. This is important in the case of death, hospital emergencies, and in the case of a missing person situation. Although technology has been being used to track fingerprints for a while now, iris cameras are becoming more available and are being used as biometric patient identifiers.

Due to the fact that such devices require that a patient willingly interacts with the technology, acceptance is a key part of any biometric patient identification deployment. It is critical that healthcare organizations that deploy biometrics for patient identification offer a clear and transparent explanation to patients that the technology is in place to protect their identities and help prevent medical errors.

Though technology continues to evolve, once proven and put in place it provides advantages and consistent results. Today’s medical technology is developing into a reliable system for improving care and patient safety.

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

RightPatient uses photo biometrics to accurately identify patients at any point along the care continuum

Visit RightPatient® at 2017 HIMSS Conference in the GA HealthIT Pavilion (Booth #3015)

RightPatient uses photo biometrics to accurately identify patients at any point along the care continuum

Visit us in the GA HealthIT Pavilion (Booth #3015) at the 2017 HIMSS Convention to learn more about how to completely transform how you identify patients.

Join RightPatient in the GA HealthIT Pavilion in Booth #3015 at the 2017 HIMSS convention to learn more about the value of implementing cognitive vision to your technology ecosystem to completely transform how you identify patients. RightPatient® accurately recognizes patients at the hospital and when they login to a portal, or anywhere along the care continuum through any off the shelf device.

The RightPatient Cloud Platform solves the patient identification challenge by using the photo and unique biometric information of patients to accurately identify them during each encounter in both physical and virtual environments. Stop by booth #3015 at the 2017 HIMSS Convention in Orlando to learn more about:

— Why photo biometrics is the ideal technology and future of patient identification in healthcare
— How RightPatient® seamlessly integrates with all major EHR systems including Cerner®, Epic, Meditech, and McKesson
— The importance of implementing non-contact, hygienic biometric patient ID solutions
— Our affordable SaaS model
— How to improve patient safety and prevent duplicates with photo biometrics for patient identification

As part of the Georgia, USA Pavilion (Booth #3015) HIMSS17 Speaker Series, our President and Co-Founder Michael Trader will be presenting a special educational session on “The Rising Significance of Holistic Patient ID in Healthcare” on Tuesday February 21st at 1:30 p.m. Join us for Michael’s perspective on why it is critical to address accurate patient identification at each and every point along the care continuum instead of only the first stop at patient registration. 

Schedule a meeting with us by sending an email to: info@rightpatient.com or call us at 770-821-1729.

Pressed for time but still want to stop by and meet the RightPatient team? Join us for a beverage at the GA HIMSS Chapter reception. Sign up here: http://bit.ly/2knXCWm

We will have a daily drawing at our booth for an Amazon Echo for those who schedule an appointment!

(If you aren’t attending HIMSS 2017 but would still like to learn more about RightPatient® and see a demo, please contact us!)

Hope to see you in Orlando the week of February 19th!

patient ID biometric modality realities

How to Choose the Right Biometric Modality for Patient ID in Healthcare

patient ID biometric modality realities

Misinformation and confusion surrounding biometric patient ID hardware modalities are cleared up in our latest white paper.

The following post on patient ID in healthcare was submitted by Michael Trader, Co-Founder and President of RightPatient®

We are excited to announce the release of a brand new white paper entitled: Choosing the Most Effective Biometric Solution for Patient Identification in Healthcare (Assessing the characteristics and capabilities of biometric options). The white paper assesses the capabilities and limitations of fingerprint, palm vein, and photo biometrics (iris and facial recognition) for patient ID in healthcare.

The journey to select the most suitable biometric modality for patient identification in healthcare should include an assessment of hardware capabilities and limitations. This white paper was written and published as an educational resource for healthcare organizations to develop a deeper understanding of device characteristics and limitations. Due to persistent misinformation about the ability of select biometric modalities to perform accurate patient ID in healthcare and confusion on the realities of real world results post implementation we feel that this white paper stands as an authoritative guide that should be included in any and all comprehensive due diligence of biometrics.

Over 14 years of experience in real world implementations of fingerprint, palm vein, and photo biometrics has provided us with a wealth of knowledge and research on how these modalities operate when deployed and an authoritative resource to determine which devices can deliver on the promise that effective patient ID solutions offer:

  • Elimination of duplicate medical records and overlays
  • Prevention of medical ID theft and healthcare fraud
  • Increasing and sustaining patient data integrity
  • Increasing patient safety
  • Providing accurate patient ID at ANY point along the care continuum

Did you know that select biometric modalities covered in the white paper do not have the ability to accomplish some of these goals? We encourage you to contact us and request your copy of this important and informative white paper to provide a more thorough background and understanding of biometric patient identification realities versus marketing fluff.

We are confident that you will find value in our research and analysis based on a decade and a half of experience in the biometric identification management industry and extensive experience with all of the modalities covered in the white paper. Please click here to request a copy of the research report. 

rightpatient intrepid healthcare about current state of patient identification in healthcare podcastsMichael Trader is President and Co-Founder of RightPatient®. Michael is responsible for overseeing business development and marketing activities, government outreach, and for providing senior leadership on business and policy issues.

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.

 

 

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.

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.

patient ID in healthcare podcast

IntrepidNow Healthcare Podcast Highlights Patient Identification in Healthcare

patient identification in healthcare podcast

Joe Lavelle from IntrepidNow Healthcare interviewed RightPatient® President Michael Trader to discuss the current state of patient identification in healthcare. (photo courtesy of Joe Lavelle and IntrepidNow Healthcare)

Our thanks to Joe Lavelle and his staff for inviting our President Michael Trader to the IntrepidNow podcast to discuss patient identification in healthcare. Joe invited Michael to not only talk about the current state of patient ID in healthcare and some of the problems that misidentification of patients creates, he also provided the opportunity for Michael to discuss the RightPatient® biometric patient identification platform and what distinct advantages it provides compared to other solutions on the market.

Listen in to Joe’s podcast and learn:

  • The impact of biometric patient ID solutions to eliminate duplicate medical records/overlays and sustain patient data integrity
  • How modern patient identification solutions help prevent medical identity theft and fraud at the point of service
  • How the digitization of healthcare now makes accurate patient identification essential at every touchpoint along the care continuum 
  • The rising importance and ubiquity of photos for accurate patient ID in healthcare
  • The biometric patient identification solution competitive landscape
  • Updates on The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) national patient ID challenge
  • Looking ahead to what’s next for RightPatient® in 2016

Listen to the entire interview here:

Thanks again to Joe Lavelle from IntrepidNow for inviting us to be a guest on his podcast! For a complete list of all RightPatient® healthcare biometrics podcasts, please visit our podcast landing page.

biometric patient ID in healthcare

Our Top Five Biometric Patient Identification Blog Posts of 2015

biometric patient identification in healthcare

Read through some of our most popular blog posts on biometric patient identification in healthcare during 2015

2015 was an important year of growth and innovation for RightPatient®. We started this blog two years ago to help educate the healthcare community on the importance of establishing secure, accurate patient identification in healthcare and to establish a trusted resource to help understand how the use of biometrics for patient ID has proven to be an important tool to help increase patient safety, eliminate duplicate medical records, improve revenue cycle management, and prevent medical identity theft and fraud. 

Throughout our journey, we have shared many important posts demonstrating how our hospital partners have successfully implemented biometrics for patient identification and provided real life examples of the post deployment benefits realized. Among the dozens of posts the RightPatient® team posted during 2015, the following posts were the most popular:

  1. Uniting Accurate Patient Identification with Secure Single Sign-On (SSO) to Improve Data Integrity in Healthcare: In an effort to help continue increasing patient data integrity in healthcare, we announced a new partnership with Healthcast,  the #1 ranked single sign-on solution (KLAS, 2014) to increase patient safety and secure access to patient data. 
  2. RightPatient® Prevents Healthcare Fraud at University Health SystemHealthcare fraud and medical identity theft are two rising concerns for healthcare organizations because they jeopardize patient safety, raise the cost of care, and could lead to non-reimbursable medical procedures. University Hospital in Augusta, GA recently was able to prevent healthcare fraud in their ER through the use of the RightPatient® with photo biometrics.
  3. Removing the Word “Scan” from Iris Recognition for Healthcare BiometricsFueled by Hollywood sensationalism, iris recognition biometric identification is often depicted as “scanning” a person’s eyes with visible light. The fact is, no visible light is used with iris recognition and instead of a “scan,” iris biometrics takes a high resolution digital photograph. 
  4. Identify Unconscious, Unknown Patients with Biometric Identification TechnologyThe difficulty to identify an unconscious or disoriented patient jeopardizes patient safety in healthcare. Biometric patient identification has emerged as a technology capable of identifying patients in these conditions, but did you know that not all biometric patient ID solutions have the ability to identify unconscious or disoriented patients? 
  5. Biometric Patient Identification Implementation Should Be Higher On The Priority ListDespite the fact that accurate patient identification affects so many downstream clinical and financial activities, hospitals and healthcare organizations are still not placing enough emphasis on evaluating implementation and use of this technology as a priority. 

We will continue to research and write educational and informational posts during 2016 about the rising use of biometrics for patient identification in healthcare including case studies and examples of how our technology is helping hospitals around the world to: eliminate duplicate medical records, prevent medical identity theft and fraud, increase patient data integrity, and improve patient safety. 2015 was a year of significant growth for RightPatient® as we continue working toward our mission to offer the most innovative and comprehensive patient identification solution that increases patient safety, reduces costs, improves the quality of care, and enhances the patient experience. 

Curious to know more about the use of biometric patient identification in healthcare? Is there a topic that you would like to learn more about? Drop us a message at: jtrader@rightpatient.com with your ideas and suggestions!

Thank you for being a part of our blog community!

patient identification in healthcare

Patient Identification in Healthcare: The Year in Review

patient identification in healthcare

Did accurate patient identification in healthcare receive more attention in 2015? (Photo courtesy of Pixabay: http://bit.ly/1MupdqE)

2015 was another breakout year for the healthcare industry. From the transition to ICD-10 to advancements (or lack thereof) in interoperability to the expanding role of big data, 2015 demonstrated that healthcare continues to be in the throes of a major transition spearheaded by rapid digitization of the industry. While the jury is still out on exactly what type of lasting impact the events of 2015 will have, one area that stands out is the increased attention of establishing accurate patient identification.

There are simply too many downstream activities affected by accurate patient identification in healthcare to continue pushing the issue to the back burner of priorities, so we were quite pleased that 2015 seemed to be the year where the topic of accurate patient ID is finally getting the attention it deserves at the front of the line.

Here is a recap of notable and influential patient identification news and events that we identified as the most impactful in 2015:

#1 – CHIME flexes its clout. Big time.

  • The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) issues national patient ID challenge: Few things get people excited about an initiative than monetary incentives. In March of 2015, CHIME issued a challenge to help discover the most innovative solution to patient matching. The incentive? 
Patient Identification in Healthcare: The Year in Review

(Photo courtesy of pexels.com: http://bit.ly/2jlGZGw)

Our take: CHIME’s national patient ID challenge is flat out smart. Dangling the financial carrot to the healthcare industry will surely spur innovative approaches to solving this issue and motivate health IT vendors to step up and address the challenge. Wholeheartedly backed by a coalition of influential organizations and individuals in healthcare, the challenge is poised to foster creative approaches to solving this dangerous and festering problem in healthcare.  

“We must first acknowledge that the lack of a consistent patient identification strategy is the most significant challenge inhibiting the safe and secure electronic exchange of health information. As our healthcare system begins to realize the innately transformational capabilities of health IT, moving toward nationwide health information exchange, this essential core functionality – consistency in accurately identifying patients – must be addressed. As data exchange increases among providers, patient data matching errors and mismatches will become exponentially more dangerous and costly.” (CHIME’s letter to Congress, May 7, 2014 http://bit.ly/1NVNvzk)

Our take: CHIME’s letter to Congress could be a watershed moment to finally push accurate patient identification into the forefront of priorities for the healthcare industry. Since CHIME is a very influential organization that Captiol Hill pays attention to, their public push to move forward on finding a viable solution to accurate patient identification in healthcare could prove to be the tipping point to solve this serious issue. In addition, at a Congressional hearing in June, CHIME publicly stated in a hearing convened by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) that advancing accurate patient identification in healthcare will, “radically reduce medical errors and save lives.”

#2 – AHIMA adds their voice and influence to push for a patient identification solution

Our take: As more well established and influential healthcare organizations lend their voices to solving the patient identification issue, the odds of discovering a solution will precipitously increase. Long viewed as a conscientious problem with too many complexities to solve, many healthcare professionals are finally coming to the conclusion that patient identification in healthcare is a single catalyst that directly influences the success or failure of many other initiatives in the industry: interoperability, health information exchange, and mHealth to name a few. We are pleased that AHIMA is more openly wielding its impact as a respected and trusted organization on such a critical issue in healthcare.

#3 – FHIR is great, but will interoperability never work without a national identifier

“There’s people out there who think that with FHIR we’ve solved all the problems. We haven’t, because we’re not authorized to solve lots of the problems” (Graham Grieve on frustrations of the moratorium Congress enacted to block funding research on a national patient identifier: http://bit.ly/1O3HbGK

Our take: Without sounding like a broken record or belaboring the point, for quite some time we have voiced concerns about advancing interoperability in healthcare without first addressing the need to establish accurate patient identification.  When you hear a quote like the one from Graham Grieve above from someone battling on the front lines of interoperability, it lends even more credence to the argument that it seems rather pointless and futile to continuing spending millions to advance interoperability in healthcare without having the ability to accurately identify patients in disparate health systems.

#4 – Biometric patient identification deployments continue to rise

  • More on this topic in next week’s post, but 2015 was a banner year for biometrics in healthcare. From single sign-on to access control to accurate patient identification, we observed a rapid increase in the deployment of biometrics at hospitals across the globe. Research firm Tractica forecasts that the nascent global healthcare biometrics market revenue will hit $3.5 billion in revenues by 2024, foreshadowing the tremendous potential of this technology and making it one of the most promising opportunities for the biometric industry.

What’s your take on the year on patient identification in healthcare? What moments or events stand out to you? Leave us a note in the comments section!

Next week: RightPatient® – The Year in Review — a short post of our major accomplishments during 2015. Stay tuned!