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Identify Patients Correctly to Reduce Significant Healthcare Costs

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the whole world off-balance, and even though the world is opening up in places, it is still continuing to affect lives on a daily basis. Amidst all the chaos, healthcare became one of the most important parts of the economies across the world, and the US is no exception. However, with the overwhelming number of coronavirus patients who needed the utmost care, hospitals had to reallocate all of their efforts towards the affected patients – leading to hard decisions for other services provided. This resulted in the past few months being full of furloughs, layoffs, and salary cuts due to huge financial instabilities. As the US healthcare system slowly continues to open up in phases and resume its normal practices, healthcare providers need to focus on reducing costs further. One of the most effective ways to do that is to identify patients correctly. 

RightPatient-helps-to-identify-patients-correctly

Why hospitals need to identify patients correctly

There are a lot of issues associated with the US healthcare system. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, hospitals had their fair share of problems. One of the more prominent ones was the lack of accurate patient identification.

Whenever a patient comes to the hospital, the EHR (electronic health record) user will ask for information such as name, DOB, address, etc., which will help them obtain the correct medical record from the system. This will prepare the patients to obtain healthcare services, expecting to leave with better health after the treatment. Thus, healthcare begins with the hospital identifying the accurate medical record of the patient. 

Even though it sounds quite easy and straightforward, that is not the case. Human errors, negligence, and inconsistencies can lead to issues within the EHR systems. Even the smallest of mistakes can lead to large problems, jeopardizing patient safety. The most common problems within the EHR systems are known as duplicate medical records and overlays. Other than that, even patients with common names and demographic characteristics can be mixed up by healthcare providers, leading to disastrous consequences.

Some examples 

Last November, Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital mixed up two patients, which led to a patient getting the wrong kidney transplant. Thankfully, the wrong patient was compatible with the kidney, so no serious harm was done. However, not every patient mix-up case is as lucky. The same is true for misidentifications caused by duplicate records and overlays. After the incident at Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, they started using four identifiers altogether. Practically, it will still be quite ineffective, as human errors are bound to happen. Moreover, if there are duplicate medical records or overlays in the EHR system, like the majority of healthcare providers, then even the four identifiers will not prove useful. The EHR user will simply get confused between the duplicates and overlays and may end up choosing the wrong record inadvertently.

Finding the accurate medical record of a patient within an EHR system that has duplicates is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Take the case of Harris Health System. After a thorough analysis, they found some interesting numbers. It houses around 3.4 million patient records, out of which 7.3% had the common case where two or more patients had the same first and last names. 2.2% had a common case where five or more patients shared the same first and last names. There were 2,488 patients named Maria Garcia, out of which 231 Maria Garcias had the same DOBs. It is more than likely that some of those 231 records of Maria Garcias are duplicates or overlays. This can easily confuse any given EHR users while identifying patients, and unless an effective way to identify patients is used, the problems will keep on compounding.

How big a problem is patient misidentification?

According to AHIMA, smaller hospitals can have around 5-10% of duplicate medical records. On the other hand, larger health systems can house up to 20% duplicate records within the EHR systems of their different hospitals. These duplicates can easily cost up to $40 million for any provider.

 RightPatient-reduces-significant-healthcare-costs

Patient misidentification also hampers patient safety. Whenever a patient is wrongly identified, he/she will be treated based on the wrong medical record, medical history, allergies, medication, lab test results, and so on. The bigger the complexity, the more danger the patient faces. There have even been cases where patient mix-ups have caused deaths. These seriously damage the goodwill of the healthcare providers. Not only that, but providers also face heavy financial repercussions in the form of denied claims, lawsuits, and poor revenue cycle management. Lack of proper patient identification leads to increased medical identity theft as well – all of which RightPatient can prevent.

Is it possible to identify patients correctly?

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Patient misidentifications have been around for years, and with them, talks of an effective patient identifier have been around as well. While many healthcare leaders have been clamoring to get the archaic ban on state-funded UPI (unique patient identifier) lifted for years, it has not led to fruition yet. Last year, while the House of Representatives supported abolishing the ban, the Senate did not agree, leading to more misidentification cases, increased medical identity theft, and avoidable deaths.

However, healthcare leaders have taken it upon themselves to identify patients correctly. Many are using different platforms to identify patients accurately – fingerprint scanning, palm-vein scanning, and so on. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, all of these will be considered dangerous as they require patients to touch the device every time they come in for healthcare services. Everyone now knows how big of a deal infection control issues are, and patients will be extremely hesitant to touch any such device in the foreseeable future. Moreover, maintaining such devices is quite taxing – cleaning it after a patient uses it is itself a nightmare. 

Identify Patients Correctly to Reduce Significant Healthcare Costs
Identify Patients Correctly to Reduce Significant Healthcare Costs

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Progressive leaders have opted for a futureproof solution – RightPatient. It is a touchless biometric patient identification platform that locks the medical records of the patients with their photos. After registration, all the patient needs to do is look at the camera and RightPatient matches their photos and accurately retrieves their medical records within seconds. It is not only easy to use but is also hygienic, as it requires no physical contact nor cleaning after every use, making it the only sensible choice as hospitals are opening up. Leading providers like Terrebonne General Medical Center, University Health Care System, and several others are using RightPatient to protect over 10 million patients – preventing duplicate record creation, preventing medical identity theft, reducing denied claims, and minimizing losses. Are you cutting down these costs effectively, since it is of utmost importance now?

Improving-Patient Safety-in-Hospitals-is-easier-with-RightPatient

Improving Patient Safety in Hospitals as They Reopen Post-COVID-19

To say that the coronavirus pandemic will change the world is an understatement. It can never be stressed enough as to how much it has and will continue to impact our lives. After lockdowns were implemented for months to reduce the cases of infections, states are opening up slowly with precautions still in place. The US healthcare system is no exception – some providers are planning to open up while shuttered hospitals are planning to reopen due to the coronavirus. With all that in mind, one issue must have the highest priority now – improving patient safety in hospitals. This article will talk about some ways in which hospitals can reopen safely along with tools that can help them do that.

Improving-Patient Safety-in-Hospitals-is-easier-with-RightPatient

Improving patient safety in hospitals – some strategies

Come up with a plan

As the US is in a very delicate situation right now, it can only be helped if the providers reopen safely and treat the patients successfully, and all of this starts with an effective plan. Plan the important days accordingly, especially the reopening day. It is wise to take it slowly and reopen in phases rather than opening a hospital all at once, but more on that later. Make an inventory of all the necessary tools and materials at hand that are required for protecting and serving patients, especially PPE. Reordering might be required, so ensure that it is done well in advance to reduce disruptions while providing healthcare services. Also, if not already in place, plans must be made on how to deal with patients or employees with COVID-19 on the premises. This will be the new normal for quite some time, so planning for such scenarios ahead will be beneficial.

Open in phases

While many are already adopting this strategy, it is still worth mentioning why it is important. Opening in phases can help detect which areas of the hospital still need to be addressed, if required, and can be done so easily. Moreover, this will also help to accommodate employees on alternate days—reducing contact and risk of contracting the virus. It will give an overview of the problems and opportunities and give everyone time to come up with solutions for dealing with them.

Strategies to-improve-patient-safety-in-hospitals-RightPatient

Have safety measures in place

Even though there will be immense pressure on health systems, they need to ensure that patients are not overflowing all the time to maintain social distancing to some extent. For starters, hospitals need to ensure that patients are segregated to keep the ones potentially infected with COVID-19 separated from the ones that do not have it, improving patient safety in hospitals. 

Ensuring that everyone on the premises is wearing PPE is a must. Also, ensuring that everyone is maintaining distance, whether employees or patients, is quite important—rearranging layouts to ensure that distance is maintained can help. Also, ensure that minimal contact is required, especially in places like the EDs, since that is where most cases will be present. 

If employees exhibit any of the symptoms of COVID-19, encourage them to take leaves, as keeping them in the workplace will only make matters worse. 

Support your remote employees

Telehealth has been one of the most useful tools during the pandemic, and it will be used thoroughly in the future as well. Ensure that the remote physicians are properly accessing and using the tools required for telehealth so that the patients who can be served via telehealth do not need to come to the premises, reducing the chances of infections.

However, other than physicians, other employees are also working from home either on alternate days or for the foreseeable future. This is being done to reduce infection rates by practicing social distancing. Ensure that the employees are receiving enough support to carry out their tasks to provide better healthcare outcomes, improving patient safety in hospitals in the process.

RIghtPatient-improves-patient-safety-in-hospitals

Use solutions to reduce infection rates and administrative burden

The US healthcare system is inundated with a plethora of problems. While they are not new and have solutions to mitigate them, many are still not using these solutions; thus, they are still suffering from the issues. With the coronavirus pandemic in mind, it is high time that these problems are addressed by healthcare providers. 

First off, let’s look into HIPAA compliance issues. Even though HIPAA penalties have been relaxed, for now, there are still many rules and regulations that need to be followed. While healthcare providers are already working around the clock to serve patients, ensuring HIPAA compliance can be a huge challenge, given the situation. Using solutions like HIPAAReady can reduce the administrative burden and simplify compliance management. With internal auditing, training management, and keeping HIPAA information in a centralized location, HIPAAReady is already an attractive HIPAA compliance software to mitigate HIPAA compliance issues.

Patient identification errors, on the other hand, have been haunting providers for decades. It has been an impediment to improving patient safety in hospitals. While many have been using different identification solutions like fingerprint scanning and palm-vein scanning, the pandemic will render these modalities obsolete. Earlier, infection control issues were only a headache of the providers, but the pandemic will make patients reluctant to use any identification solution requiring touch. Fortunately, there are already touchless biometric patient identification solutions available with RightPatient being the most appropriate one. After registration, the platform requires the patient to only look at the camera. The platform matches it with the registered template and retrieves the accurate medical record within seconds. All of these require no physical contact from the patient, enhancing patient safety as well as acceptance.

Improving Patient Safety in Hospitals as They Reopen Post-COVID-19
Improving Patient Safety in Hospitals as They Reopen Post-COVID-19

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Providers like Terrebonne General Medical Center and Community Medical Centers are already using RightPatient and have chosen it as there are no infection control issues surrounding the platform like other modalities, making it an ideal patient identification solution in a post-COVID-19 world. When providers are losing millions due to the pandemic, deploy RightPatient and mitigate losses by ensuring touchless patient identification, preventing medical identity theft, and reducing denied claims. 

Touchless-patient-identifiers-kike-RightPatient-are-crucial-for-the-future

Touchless Patient Identifiers are Crucial Now – Are you Using Them?

COVID-19 has changed everything – the way we live, the way we interact with each other, and the way we work. However, it has impacted healthcare around the world most. The US healthcare system is overwhelmed with the number of COVID-19 patients and the frontline workers are still risking their lives to save patients. While the numbers are still rising, many healthcare providers in the US are partially reopening, or are at least planning to do so. With that in mind, do they have the right tools to reduce infection control issues at the places where they are the most common – EDs? What kind of patient identifiers are they using, and do these solutions create or reduce infection control issues?

Touchless-patient-identifiers-kike-RightPatient-are-crucial-for-the-future

Why patient identifiers are needed

Patient identification errors have been rampant across the US healthcare system—that’s no secret. They cause medical errors, leading to deaths. Another study showed that 72% of misidentification cases occurred during patient encounters, whereas 12.6% happened during intakes—just showing how common and serious they are. 

These patient identification errors occur because of several reasons. Duplicate medical records and medical record overlays are some of the more common culprits – health systems with multiple facilities can house up to 20% duplicates, and can cost around $40 million for any healthcare provider. When a patient comes in, the EHR user naturally gets confused when he/she sees that there are multiple records for the same patient. This either leads to delays in treatments or else causes medical errors if the wrong EHR is chosen.

RightPatient-helps-with-accurate-patient-identification

Lack of accurate patient identification also leads to medical identity theft. When an actor comes in and assumes the identity of the victim, the hospital cannot determine the anomaly without a concrete patient identifier in place. Thus, patient identifiers are quite crucial for providers.

The best patient identifier post-COVID-19

COVID-19 has reignited the fear of infection control issues among the general public—it has shown how dangerous contagious diseases can be. People are practicing social distancing for their safety and it looks like this will be the norm for quite some time. Even when the pandemic is over, the fear of diseases via contact will still linger among people. That fear will be even more pronounced when they visit hospitals. 

Prevent-medical-identity-theft-with-RightPatient

While hospitals were already worried about infection control issues, these have become a topmost priority now for all of them. One of the hotspots of infection control issues is the EDs—infected patients can pass the contagious diseases to others if they contaminate materials such as patient identification devices that require contact. However, after the pandemic, the majority of patients will be highly reluctant to interact with a patient identification device which requires touch, since most of them are well-informed about how harmful they can be. While devices like fingerprint and palm-vein scanners might be accurate, they are not hygienic and will simply increase infection control issues if used further. Also, maintaining the cleanliness of such devices can be an arduous task – cleaning them after every patient touches them is not practical or efficient.  

This is where RightPatient comes in. It is a contactless biometric patient identification platform that locks the medical records of the patients with their irises or facial patterns. After registration, returning patients simply look at the camera and the platform identifies them within seconds, retrieving the appropriate medical record for use—it’s that easy! RightPatient is hygienic as well, as no physical contact is required. That’s why leading healthcare providers like Terrebonne General Medical Center are using it. 

Touchless Patient Identifiers are Crucial Now - Are you Using Them?
Touchless Patient Identifiers are Crucial Now - Are you Using Them?

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Contactless patient identifiers are the future, and RightPatient is the perfect one for you to reduce infection control issues in a post-COVID-19 world. Are you part of that future? 

ensure-revenue-integrity-RightPatient

5 Strategies to Ensure Revenue Integrity in Healthcare

Many healthcare providers were struggling financially before the pandemic. But now, the U.S healthcare industry is on the verge of financial disaster. According to the American Hospital Association, hospitals are bleeding approximately $50 billion per month due to canceled elective procedures and costs associated with treating COVID-19 patients. Many non-COVID patients have also stopped seeking primary care visits, including patients with life-threatening conditions, because they are worried about exposures. In addition, claim errors, denials, and payment delays that result from inaccurate patient identification, duplicate medical records, and medical identity theft still persist, all of which affects revenue integrity. 

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Adopting Value-Based Reimbursement (VBR) models has shown to have economic advantages but poses a real challenge for healthcare providers alongside ever-changing healthcare compliance regulations. Siloed workflows, data proliferation, and disparate systems make it difficult to achieve the collaboration that is needed for VBR to yield optimal results. However, intelligent revenue cycle management can be the key to achieving financial stability and revenue integrity. 

Identify the problem

Today’s environment requires automating workflows and considering the whole revenue cycle process to ensure revenue integrity. Healthcare providers want an easy, seamless way to manage revenue cycle without errors, such as those caused by patient identification issues. Considering the lack of electronic medical record (EMR) system capabilities to adequately address the critical need for accurate patient identification, it is vital to leverage complementary technologies with core-specific competencies that can improve the overall revenue cycle. For example, improving patient identification and matching processes at the front-end of the revenue cycle process can significantly reduce costs. 

As an industry-leader in touchless patient authentication, RightPatient has been helping many healthcare organizations reduce claim errors and denied claims by ensuring accurate patient identification. By eliminating denied claims linked to identification errors, healthcare providers can reduce the burden of back-end activities in the revenue cycle and simplify the reimbursement process to ensure revenue integrity.

Rely on technology

Adopting technology is also essential to ensure that clinical teams across the healthcare ecosystem are accessing high quality shared data to produce the best outcomes. Augmenting the organization’s core systems with complementary technologies on a single, integrated platform enhances internal collaboration with other teams or departments. For instance, RightPatient crosses departmental silos and brings transparency to patient healthcare data across disparate domains. Transparency across teams is critical. RightPatient will ensure that a holistic and accurate medical record of each patient can be accessed by clinical and operational staff members no matter where the patient is authenticated. By automating the patient identification and authentication process, RightPatient improves clinical outcomes and enables staff to proactively focus on other areas where their expertise has the most impact.

 

improve-revenue-cycle-with-rightpatient 

Ensure compliance

According to the National Association of Healthcare Revenue Integrity (NAHRI), the goal of revenue integrity is to prevent issues that lead to revenue leakage or compliance risks through effective, efficient, and internal controls across the care continuum, supported by strong documentation and sound financial practices that can withstand audits at any time. 

Violation of healthcare compliance is a major contributing factor to financial losses. For instance, HIPAA violations are becoming more common across the U.S healthcare system. HIPAA compliance software, on the other hand, can help address this issue. Such software allows healthcare providers to simplify their compliance efforts and manage training through an effective communication system. Ensuring HIPAA compliance prevents privacy issues that can impact proper revenue cycle management and helps to avoid costly financial losses.

Accurate documentation and coding

Unfortunately, as long as healthcare providers do not address the issue of front-end data validation, claim denials will continue to wreak havoc. Inaccurate patient identification and medical identity theft still remain a major contributing factor to denied claims and payment delays. However, through accurate patient identification, RightPatient enables healthcare providers to bill and code each patients’ information accurately. By ensuring accurate and clinical documentation, this platform significantly reduces inefficiencies of denials and rework, thereby strengthening revenue integrity. 

Improve hygiene and foster patient trust with RightPatient

Healthcare providers are witnessing a reduction in non-infected patient activity due to the fear of COVID-19. Visits for general check-ups or other routine procedures have decreased to the obvious financial detriment of healthcare providers. These providers need to reassure their patients that they are taking all precautionary steps to maintain hygiene and control this contagious disease. Adopting RightPatient is a sensible part of this strategy. 

RightPatient is a completely touchless biometric patient identification platform that can accurately identify patients throughout the continuum of care. After capturing a photo from a smartphone, tablet, or webcam, RightPatient instantly identifies patients and retrieves their correct medical record. By securing unauthorized access to medical records, hospitals are able to prevent medical identity theft, reduce denied claims, and duplicate records – all of which are vital to a high-performing revenue cycle. 

5 Strategies to Ensure Revenue Integrity in Healthcare
5 Strategies to Ensure Revenue Integrity in Healthcare

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

RightPatient also offers remote patient authentication, which is becoming increasingly necessary as people are maintaining social distance by staying at home and getting treatment through telehealth practices. During this process, RightPatient validates patient identities by comparing their ID (e.g. driver’s license) and selfie photos. This process can also help healthcare providers to save money on more expensive identity proofing solutions through credit agencies. 

As patient care becomes more complex, so does the management of the revenue cycle. RightPatient can help to simplify and manage the complexity by ensuring safe, ubiquitous patient authentication from various patient encounter points. Full financial recovery from this pandemic may take years, but adopting RightPatient will ensure that you are on a faster path to success.

RightPatient-can-reduce-medical-identity-theft-cases-that-hamper-Telehealth

Medical Identity Theft Cases can hamper Telehealth – How are you Identifying Patients?

COVID-19 has been one of the most impactful events in recent years. While some parts of the world are preparing to reopen or are easing lockdowns in phases, the general population is still on edge as there is no cure for the novel coronavirus, which has affected over 3.9 million people worldwide as of 8th May 2020. However, some applications have seen meteoric growth during this challenging period – telehealth is one area. However, since practitioners have to deal with patients remotely, there can be potential medical identity theft cases here as well. How can practitioners find out they are treating the right patient? Are there solutions available to ensure accurate patient identification?

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The rise of telehealth

Telehealth has been around for years now, with many people debating about its pros and cons. However, 2020 seems to be the year of telehealth. It has revealed how effective telehealth can be for virtual care visits and one of the most effective ways to provide patient care while we practice social distancing. Telehealth is at an all-time high – Forrester Research estimates that over a billion telehealth visits will take place this year alone, where 900 million of the visits will be due to COVID-19. Telehealth in March alone saw a 50% increase in services due to the pandemic. 

This huge increase in numbers was boosted due to the U.S. government encouraging patients to use telehealth instead of attending for physical visits to their medical professionals to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread. 

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Medical identity theft cases may rise

Telehealth is having its long-overdue success and spotlight, thanks to how it is helping treat patients remotely right now as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it does have to keep some factors in mind to ensure that proper care is given to the right patients. Are caregivers ensuring that the proper patient is being treated? Do they have the tools to verify it? 

While people have shared their credentials with family members in the past, there is no guarantee that this will not repeat itself, especially given the current financial problems the pandemic is causing. With frequent data breaches occurring, it may be quite easy for someone else to assume the identity of another patient.

While there have not been any reported cases as of yet, caregivers must remain vigilant and attempt to verify a patient’s identity. Doing that can be challenging as practitioners are facing a huge number of calls per day and may not have the right tools or resources for effective patient identification. Medical identity theft cases were already prevalent during normal times, and the same might happen with telehealth too.

Medical Identity Theft Cases can hamper Telehealth - How are you Identifying Patients?
Medical Identity Theft Cases can hamper Telehealth - How are you Identifying Patients?

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Thankfully, a solution exists

Leading healthcare providers have been using RightPatient for years now. It is a contactless biometric patient identification platform that locks the EHRs (electronic health record) of the patients with their biometric data. This ensures that outsiders cannot assume the identity of a patient and gain access to healthcare services. RightPatient has been successfully preventing medical identity theft cases, reducing duplicate record creation, and improving the revenue cycle of hospitals for years by ensuring accurate patient identification whenever patients arrive. 

How can it be used for telehealth? Well, RightPatient came up with the perfect solution for the pandemic – caregivers can now validate patients’ identities remotely. When a patient confirms the appointment with the practitioner, he/she is notified with a text message to provide a photo of their driver’s license as well as a selfie. RightPatient automatically matches the photos to ensure the patient’s identity, saving caregivers from financial burdens, and mitigating risks of treating the wrong patient. 

RightPatient already has years of experience, and with remote authentication, it has created the perfect tool for health care providers using telehealth. Ensure accurate patient identification and prevent medical identity theft, whether you’re treating patients in person or remotely via telehealth. 

RightPatient-reduces-impact-of-duplicate-medical-records-in-healthcare

Impact of Duplicate Medical Records in Healthcare can be Mitigated

The novel coronavirus is probably one of the biggest challenges the U.S. healthcare system has ever faced. However, the healthcare industry is not new to problems – it has constantly been plagued with issues, although, not of the same magnitude as COVID-19. One of the biggest challenges it faces is patient identification errors and this is a direct impact of duplicate medical records in healthcare, among other factors. Let’s see why it happens and how it can be reduced.

RightPatient-reduces-impact-of-duplicate-medical-records-in-healthcare

Duplicate records in a nutshell

Duplicate medical records are where there are multiple patient records referring to the same patient stored in an EHR (Electronic Health Record) system. Multiple records are usually created due to human errors. For instance, if William Johnson goes to the hospital, the EHR user will search by his name, ask some questions, and go through the standard procedure for identifying the patient. Now, there might be quite a few medical records named William Johnson and the EHR user may get confused, leaving two choices – searching until finding the most appropriate record or making a new one. Many hospitals house millions of records, and there is also a high probability that there may be quite a lot of “William Johnsons” sharing the same information as the actual patient. Thus, if the EHR user cannot find the appropriate record from this vast sea of EHRs for William Johnson, and a duplicate medical record gets created. 

Impact of duplicate medical records in healthcare – some findings

According to a study conducted by Black Book Research, the impact of duplicate records includes patient identification errors, repeated care, redundant medical tests, and denied claims – all of which lead to increased costs. Overall, these problems cost the healthcare system billions of dollars each year.

But why is the cost so high? Well, on average, duplicate records occupy almost 20% of the EHR system of any given healthcare provider. 

Another problem of medical records similar to duplicates is overlays. The latter is caused when records of patients are merged into a single one – generating inconsistent information such as a fragmented medical history. 

RightPatient-reduces-cost-of-duplicate-medical-records

Both duplicate medical records and record overlays have serious consequences – not only for a hospital where financials and revenue cycles are impacted, but patient safety is also jeopardized. Duplicate medical records often contain inaccurate or incomplete medical history and can lead to wrong treatments due to factors like medication, lab test results, and allergies not being mentioned. These can even cost a patient their lives. Thus, the impact of duplicate medical records in healthcare is significant and needs to be addressed effectively.

Leading hospitals are mitigating effects of duplicates

Even though the majority of hospitals are suffering from the impact of duplicate medical records in healthcare, many pioneering providers have taken steps to mitigate the costs associated with duplicate records.

They went to the root of the problem – why are duplicates and overlays being created in the first place? It is because the EHR users are not able to identify the patients accurately. If an EHR system houses millions of patient records, who can blame them? Common names and information lead to the creation of duplicates and generate patient identification errors. This is exactly what RightPatient prevents. 

Impact of Duplicate Medical Records in Healthcare can be Mitigated
Impact of Duplicate Medical Records in Healthcare can be Mitigated

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

RightPatient is a contactless biometric patient identification platform that can seamlessly be integrated with EHR systems. It locks the medical records of the patients with their biometric data upon enrollment. When they return, all they need to do is look at the camera and the platform identifies their accurate medical record within seconds, creating a contactless and hygienic experience without hospitals having to think about infection control issues. Since it accurately identifies the patients, it prevents the creation of duplicate medical records. Pioneers like Grady Health, Terrebonne General Medical Center, and University Health Care System are using RightPatient and preventing duplicate records, improving revenue cycle, and saving millions in the process, all the while improving patient safety. 

Reduce-costs-of-healthcare-data-breaches-with-RightPatient

Healthcare Data Breach Statistics show 40 Million Patients were affected in 2019

Data breaches – this topic has been covered a lot here. That’s because it is so prevalent and is constantly haunting big and small healthcare providers across the U.S. In 2019, a whopping 40 million people were affected by healthcare data breaches. To put this in perspective, 14 million people were affected, according to healthcare data breach statistics in 2018.

Reduce-costs-of-healthcare-data-breaches-with-RightPatient

A recent study has also shown that 2019’s numbers were higher than the 2015 data breaches where over 113 million records were exposed. The report from the study emphasizes how over 400 organizations experienced breaches consisting of more than 500 patient records. Even though some providers are working to increase security, they are finding it challenging to stay ahead of the curve.

The reported data breaches increased by 38 percent from January to October 2019, compared to 2018. More than 429 organizations reported breaches, which is considerably higher than the 371 organizations reporting data breaches in 2018. 

The result? 

40 million people were affected by these data breaches, and these are the data breaches that were actually reported. However, the aforementioned study claimed that more than 480 organizations would be affected by data breaches in 2019.

Hacking was consistently the main cause of data breaches from 2016. However, hacking stole the spotlight in 2019with 59 percent of the reported data breaches a result of hacking. 

RightPatient-prevents-medical-identity-theft-even-after-data-breaches

Another tool used by cybercriminals is email.

Stolen medical records often contain sensitive information of the patients – their medical history, their medications, test results, names, addresses, and so on. The hackers usually sell this information on the black market where buyers assume the identities of the affected patients.  

Patients can serve hospitals with lawsuits for not protecting their sensitive data. Some patients spend a lot of time having their medical records fixed, which is costly for the patients, the hospitals, as well as the insurers. It is a loss for everyone involved.

Healthcare Data Breach Statistics show 40 Million Patients were affected in 2019
Healthcare Data Breach Statistics show 40 Million Patients were affected in 2019

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

What can hospitals do?

While data breaches can not be stopped so easily, thankfully medical identity theft can be prevented. This is where RightPatient comes in – it locks the medical records of the patients with their biometric data and also attaches a photo to the medical records. Even if the medical records are stolen, the patient data will remain safe. If a  person attempts to assume the identity of a patient, RightPatient immediately red flags the user and lets authorities know, preventing medical identity theft in real-time. Healthcare providers are protecting millions of patient records with RightPatient, mitigating losses, improving the revenue cycle, preventing being a part of healthcare data breach statistics, and enhancing patient safety – are you one of them? 

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Improving Patient Safety and Quality of Care – Contactless Patient Identification

The World Health Organization (WHO) published “Social Distancing” guidelines to limit the spread of this deadly COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Similar to many other countries, healthcare leaders in the U.S. have been in search of solutions for improving patient safety and quality of care while maintaining social distancing.

contactless-patient-identification-with-RightPatient-improves-patient-safety-and-quality-of-care

Up until now, the use of biometric identification solutions has probably not been considered for preventing the spread of diseases in many workplaces. The rapid, worldwide spread of the Coronavirus has put hygiene and the ability to control the spread of contagious diseases at the forefront in the minds of many people across various industries. While many healthcare leaders have adopted technology in hospitals for improving patient safety and quality of care, a large number of healthcare providers still rely on antiquated solutions for patient identification.

Biometric technology is forecasted to grow across industries

Many industries are now considering biometric technologies for identification and authentication. Biometric identification as a service is already experiencing significant growth. With increased utilization of smart mobile devices and cloud-based intelligence platforms, biometric identification is now more accessible and scalable. Face or iris recognition techniques, in particular, are very effective in limiting the spread of contagious diseases.

According to the Future Market Insights (FMI), the COVID- 19 pandemic has accelerated the consideration of contactless biometric solutions because of the sudden need for social distancing. By the end of 2020, global spending on contactless biometric technologies is estimated to be $16.6 billion. 

The New York Police Department (NYPD) has stopped using fingerprint identification for staff members and employees entering the building, and is now using a contactless biometric system.

Improving Patient Safety and Quality of Care - Contactless Patient Identification
Improving Patient Safety and Quality of Care - Contactless Patient Identification

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Improving Patient Safety and Quality of Care in hospitals

Improving patient safety and quality of care is more than simply making the patient happy. Healthcare providers need to understand that for a positive patient experience, ensuring patient safety protecting the patient from preventable harms is equally important.

Biometric patient identification can be a contactless process to identify patients fast and accurately. A contactless biometric patient identification platform does not require all patients to touch a biometric device during the identification process and accurately retrieves an individual’s medical records. While this process is a great way to control infection, it has also proven to be effective in preventing duplicate medical records and medical identity theft, thereby improving patient safety and quality of care.

RightPatient- the leading contactless biometric patient identification provider

RightPatient offers iris and facial recognition biometric patient identification solutions for healthcare providers. Several leading hospitals such as The University Health Care System and Terrebonne General Medical Center (TGMC) are already improving patient safety and quality of care by using RightPatient.

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During registration, the patient simply takes their picture. RightPatient quickly recognizes the patient and retrieves the correct medical record from the healthcare provider’s EHR system. The process is fast, simple, and contactless, which is ideal for infection control, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several leading hospitals have also improved fraud detection and prevented medical identity theft by using RightPatient. This platform is the key to securing patients’ medical records – and at a distance.

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Improve the Accuracy of Patient Identification and Boost your Profitability

Patient identification errors have been a long-term problematic part of the U.S. healthcare system and there are no signs of slowing it down. It causes problems for all involved and is one of the topmost issues jeopardizing patient safety. Still, the importance of improving the accuracy of patient identification is often underestimated.

Reason to improve the accuracy of patient identification

To put things into perspective, every year, almost 195,000 deaths occur because of medical errors. Ten out of 17 of these deaths occur because of patient identification errors, according to a comprehensive study

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Patients may suffer financially from identity theft. For example, a person who did not even go to a hospital may receive an invoice stating that they did – a classic case of mistaken identity. Patients may also be mixed up due to common names and features such as age, city, DOB, etc. All these incidents have a ripple effect on healthcare providers – the bottom line, reputation, and performance may be impacted as well. 

However, there are solutions available, that are used by leading healthcare providers to improve the accuracy of patient identification. The benefits of RightPatient to providers and patients: 

Benefits of accurate patient identification

Before the usage of patient identification platforms such as RightPatient, patients were commonly misidentified due to issues such as duplicate records, overlays, common names and demographic information shared with other patients (name, DOB, etc.), and so on. The fact that larger hospitals can have more than a million records stored in their EHR  systems does not help either. It leads to mistreatment, wrong medical decisions, and wrong medications, based on inaccurate or incomplete medical history arising from duplicate records or overlays.

When an accurate patient identification platform is used, misidentifications become a thing of the past – the platform can easily identify the patient after enrollment. All the patient needs to do is scan their biometrics and their accurate medical record is identified within seconds.

All the medical data, medication, lab test results, and discharge information can now accurately be stored in the same medical record, improving patient data integrity. This helps build up a robust database of accurate, complete, and error-free patient records, overcoming the data integrity challenges caused by misidentification. 

A biometric patient identification platform like RightPatient also prevents medical identity theft. As the medical records are locked with the patient’s photo and biometric signature, an impostor cannot assume the identity of the patient. The impostor will be red-flagged immediately, as their biometric features will be different from the patient’s one, stopping medical identity theft in real-time. 

Improve the Accuracy of Patient Identification and Boost your Profitability
Improve the Accuracy of Patient Identification and Boost your Profitability

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

RightPatient also helps to improve the revenue cycle and reduces denied claims. As the patients are identified before a service is provided, there is no chance of identification errors – the correct patient receives their appropriate invoices every time, saving lots of costs associated with claim denials and this significantly improves the revenue cycle.

Some statistics

RightPatient helps to prevent duplicate record creation. For Atlanta-based hospital Grady Health, it has reduced duplicate rates by up to 90%. According to AHIMA, the financial impact of duplicate records can be up to $40 million. That’s a lot of money RightPatient can save! 

Final words

RightPatient is a leading biometric patient identification platform that locks medical records with the patient’s photo and biometric data. This ensures that unauthorized parties cannot access the medical record without the patient’s biometric scan. The platform also ensures that the accurate medical record is presented every time the patient goes to the hospital. It helps to improve the accuracy of patient identification in all the hospitals it is being used. Do you want to improve your facility’s patient identification and save millions along the way?

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Healthcare Data Breaches can lead to Medical Identity Theft

As per The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH)  requirement, breaches that expose protected health information (PHI) affecting 500 or more individuals must be listed. The Breach Reporting Tool of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), reveals that 26 new incidents were added to the portal at the end of March 2020. These incidents are all related to healthcare data breaches. 

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The security incidents in the portal list are currently under investigation by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). It has been reported that out of 26 incidents, 13 were caused by hacks or other IT related incidents, affecting 338,334 individuals. Other noteworthy healthcare data breaches affecting 44,592 individuals were caused by theft, loss, and unauthorized access or disclosure of information.

Healthcare data breaches have had a sustained impact on the quality of delivery care and have made healthcare providers more prone to medical identity thefts. Healthcare data breaches are becoming a pressing concern for providers and there’s no sign of the data breaches slowing down. 

How do criminals capitalize on stolen personal health information?

Personal health information (PHI) is any information or data entry that can identify an individual. PHI includes sensitive information such as names, addresses, Social Security of Medical Insurance numbers, information about beneficiaries, financial details including account numbers, and diagnostic images. This type of information can be created or collected by your health plan providers, employers, healthcare providers, or other healthcare entities.

Medical records are not only highly sought out by criminals but are highly desired on black markets too. This kind of information can sell for as much as $1000, depending on the amount of the victim’s information is available. Cyber thieves and criminals can later use stolen healthcare records and they plot illegal schemes, such as medical identity thefts.

How can healthcare providers mitigate negative outcomes?

Healthcare data breaches and medical identity thefts are wreaking havoc on revenue cycle management of hospitals by increasing operational costs and negatively impacting patient experience. 

To reduce the risk of healthcare data breaches, hospitals need to implement adequate security measures as per the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rule requirement. In addition to the Security Rule, covered entities are required to issue notifications to affected individuals in the event of breaches to unsecured protected health information, as per The HIPAA Breach Notification Rule. Healthcare providers can use a HIPAA compliance management solution to simplify their administrative operations. 

When hospitals adhere to the HIPAA rules effectively, it means they are using appropriate safeguarding measures to keep their protected health information secure. As a result, their networks and devices will have increased protection from cyber attackers and hackers.

To prevent medical identity thefts, hospitals can simply use a biometric patient identification platform such as RightPatient.

Healthcare Data Breaches can lead to Medical Identity Theft
Healthcare Data Breaches can lead to Medical Identity Theft

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

How can RightPatient prevent medical identity thefts?

RightPatient is a biometric patient identification platform that locks patients’ medical records. During registration, the patient just needs to provide their biological data such as iris patterns or facial photo, and the platform will use this data to lock their medical records. Next time when the patient arrives at the care continuum, all the patient needs to do is just look at the camera and the platform will accurately identify the individual and bring up their medical records.

This platform prevents fraudsters from illegally accessing medical records by encrypting sensitive information using the patient’s biological characteristics. A fraudster will not be able to simply walk in and use stolen PHI to receive medical services or benefits. 

By using RightPatient leading hospitals will have improved patient experiences and healthcare quality and will also reduce the number of denied claims, from which hospitals lose millions of dollars each year. 

It is forecasted that the Global Healthcare Biometrics market will reach a market value of $5.8 billion by 2025, at an expected CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 19.3% (2017-2025). Implement RightPatient now and stay ahead of the curve.