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using biometrics for patient identification to increase patient safety

Patient Identification Deployment Video: Community Medical Centers

using biometrics for patient identification to increase patient safety

Community Medical Centers implemented RightPatient using photo biometrics for patient identification to increase patient safety. (Photo courtesy of Community Medical Centers).

There are myriad reasons why a healthcare organization seeks to implement a biometric patient identification solution. It could be to prevent duplicate medical records. Or, perhaps to increase revenue cycle management efficiency and returns. Maybe it’s in an effort to better protect patient medical identities. Whatever the reason, there is one recurring theme that is a constant in all biometric patient ID deployments – increasing patient safety.

A desire to improve patient safety by ensuring accurate patient identification was an important underlying goal for Community Medical Centers (CMC) when they made the decision to invest in RightPatient. Staff at CMC knew that RightPatient was an important part of their overall strategy to prevent medical record mix-ups and protect patients from error.

The staff at CMC assembled a video overview of their RightPatient deployment providing insight into the enrollment process and factors that led to their implementation decision:

 

As explained in the video, RightPatient is an image-based patient identification solution – a non-invasive, hygienic (non-contact), and easy-to-use technology that instantly links a patient’s photo to their unique medical record. In the case of CMC and many other RightPatient customers, the software becomes a seamless module of the Epic EHR workflows through a low-level integration.

Backed by 15 years of experience in biometric technology, RightPatient remains the industry’s most versatile and scalable biometric patient safety system, leveraging a powerful cloud-based intelligence engine to recognize patients by simply capturing their photo.

Our thanks to the staff at CMC for creating this patient identification deployment overview video!

If you want more information or would like to see a demo of RightPatient, please contact us.

patient safety infection control in healthcare

Key Steps To Keeping Infections Low For Your Patients During and After Surgery

patient safety infection control in healthcare

Strong infection control policies are an important factor to maintaining patient safety in healthcare. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

The following is a guest post on how infection control impacts patient safety in healthcare.

While most patients undergoing surgery do not experience infection, surgical site infections still present a consistent challenge for surgeons and their patients. Surgical wound infections are one of the more common types of surgical site infection and postoperative complications. Detected approximately one week following a surgery, surgical wound infections are often attributed to poor surgical technique and contamination of the operative field.

The primary symptoms of surgical site infections are redness and pain at the surgical site, cloudy fluid draining from wound, and fever. Surgical wound infections will become red and inflamed if infection occurs.

When surgical site infections do occur they can raise treatment costs substantially. This is due to the fact that they necessitate prolonged hospitalization, antibiotic treatment, diagnostic care, and in rare cases, additional surgery.

Unfortunately, eliminating bacterial exposure of patients entirely pre-, during, and post-surgery is not possible. This is why broad-spectrum antibiotic use has become de rigeur for nearly all surgeries conducted with an anaesthetic. However, even this preventive method does not prevent all infections, and additional steps should be taken. Contrary to popular belief, pre-surgery preparations can be just as important as precautions taken during and after surgery.

Before Surgery

Surgeons often fixate on sterilization practices that pertain to them, sometimes at the expense of site sterilization of the patient. While washing the hands and arms up the elbows with antiseptic soap and wearing a mask, gloves, and gown are certainly important, the cleansing of the surgical site and attention to the patient are just as important.

Skin at and around the surgical site should be washed with an antibacterial soap, prior to the patient’s arrival in the operating room. The patient should also be sure to wear a fresh, clean hospital gown to the surgery. Even though the surgical site will be dressed post-procedure, this will reduce any additional exposure is critical to reducing infection rates as much as possible.

The patient should also be advised to not shave the area in the 48 hours leading up to surgery since razors can irritate the skin, making the area more prone to infection. If hair removal needs to occur in order to increase visibility of the site, it should be clipped rather than shaved.

In many instances, it is also advisable to administer preoperative antibiotics. Awareness of any other health indicators, such as a history of diabetes or smoking, can also help determine the patient’s likelihood for infection.

During Surgery

During surgery, the anaesthesiologist may be of more use in preventing infection than the surgeon. There is evidence that maintaining normothermia and supplementing with oxygen can help to reduce the risk of surgical infection. Consulting with the anaesthesiologist prior to surgery in order to develop an ideal procedure can be useful.

While concern for maintaining sterile surgical tools and a sterile field are certainly important, it is also imperative to consider that most contamination comes from the patient’s own microbiology. Bacteria, yeast and viral strains living on the patient’s skin are the primary source of contamination.

This necessitates the use of a pre-surgical scrub at the operation site. Those used most commonly are iodine- or chlorhexidine-based solutions. Alcohol-based solutions work differently than the first two by denaturing bacterial cell walls. There is some evidence that using a combination of scrub preparations yields better results.

Microbiota within the organ cavity may also play a role. The area of the body operated on is a key determinant in the prevalence of certain infections over others. For instance, cardiac, neurosurgery and ophthalmic surgery all carry increased risk of S aureus infection. Noncardiac thoracic surgery also increases risk of Streptococcus pneumoniae infection. Abdominal and gastrointestinal surgeries carry an increased risk of infection by gram-negative bacilli.

Being mindful of the operative field and reducing the number of tissues a single instrument touches can help to reduce infection rates.

how to improve patient safety in healthcare through infection control

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

After Surgery

Hand washing is just as important following the operation as it is in the scrub room. Advise nurses and all other staff to wash their hands prior to interacting with the patient, and certainly before assisting with examinations or arranging bed clothing. The patient’s visitors should also be advised to wash their hands and discouraged from touching the wound site or dressing.

When the patient is ready to be discharged, make sure that they have received clear instructions on how to care for their wound, quizzing them and caretakers if needed. Antibiotic care should be continued as indicated. Insisting on your availability for any questions involving follow up treatment can go a long way towards making sure that your patient takes the best care possible, preventing postoperative infection.

Mindful attention to detail in the prevention of infection from the time is admitted into the hospital to the time that they leave is the only way to reduce infection rates.

Key Steps To Keeping Infections Low For Your Patients During and After SurgeryAuthor Bio: Andrew is a keen student studying to become a dentist. His passion for dentistry first ignited when visiting his father at the local practice he worked for. He currently writes for Twentytooth.com and hopes that after studying he can open his own dental practice and help people in need with their oral health.

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!

infection control to improve patient safety

Planning a Hospital Renovation? Tips To Monitor Infection Control

infection control to improve patient safety

Maintaining strong infection control is an important aspect of sustaining patient safety during hospital renovations. (Photo courtesy of pixabay)

The following guest post on infection control in healthcare was submitted by Ashton Blagden.

Hospital renovation or the construction process is not a small thing. You need to keep an eye on the entire process from time and again so that it completes on time without causing other issues. One of the most important thing that you need to keep in mind and look for while carrying out the hospital renovation is infection control.

Having an infection control process implemented and then forgetting about the whole thing is not done. You have to keep on monitoring the measures and make sure that everything works as per the plan.

So, here I am with a few effective tips that you can practice to control infection while carrying out the construction process in the hospital.

Get an infection control owner

It is not at all possible to control infection without having a person in charge of the things. So you need to have an infection control owner in place. But, this does not mean that the person has to make sure infection control is properly in place by completing the tasks on his own. The duty of such a person is to check out the things that need to be done and then assign the tasks to different people. After that, he needs to do a follow-up for the same from time to time. By having an infection control owner, you increase the chance of keeping the place infection-free as per the guidelines.

Invest in right resources

Having the right kind of infection control resources is very important, like for any other facility processes. The infection control should be given priority as if you follow the right procedures you will be able to save the lives of a good number of patients. So make sure you invest in the right resources along with your money and time.

Check out the negative air pressure areas

To keep the hospital premises pathogen free from the construction area, it is very important to maintain negative air pressure. But then, maintaining the negative air pressure is not easy too. So you have to keep on monitoring the area with negative air pressure and ensure that all the equipment placed there are working properly. The best two ways to check the negative air pressure is by going for a visual test using a flutter strip or smoke and by going for the manometer.

If the negative air pressure is not working then you can go for the option of HEPA filters. You need to keep on changing the filters regularly to monitor the area.

Keep learning

You need to be alert to make sure that all the infection control protocols are working and everything is in place to get the job done. To make the infection control process easier now a number of products are available in the market. You can implement them in the hospitals for the better results. The infection control contractors, as well as the hospital employees, should be educated about monitoring and practising the infection control.

For many, it may not be the best of concerns, but having proper infection control in place will lead to happy and healthy patients.

Guest Post from Ashton Blagden, Dealslands.co.uk

weak hospital infection control policies endanger patient safety in healthcare

Infection Control – 5 Things Your Doctor Didn’t Tell You About C. DIFF

weak hospital infection control policies endanger patient safety in healthcare

The danger of weak hospital infection control policies is a direct threat to patient safety in healthcare. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

The following guest post on infection control and patient safety in healthcare was submitted by Evan Kaden.

Every year, patients are admitted to the hospital for various reasons. Some for surgery, others for acute or chronic illnesses, but all have the same expectation: to get well. Most are unaware of the risks that come with hospitalization and find themselves uneducated about them. C. Diff infection is no exception. While the doctors and nurses are required to inform you of an infection, that doesn’t mean that they have the time to explain the details of it. This article will explain what you and your family needs to know about C. Diff and how to prevent infection.

WHAT IS C. DIFF?

Clostridium Difficile, commonly known as C. Difficile or C. Diff, is the bacteria prominently known for causing infectious diarrhea. C. Difficile accounts for approximately less than 4% of the bacteria present in the intestinal tract. Everyone doesn’t have this bacterium in their system, but those who do typically have a healthy balance. In a healthy person, the bacteria do not pose a threat, but if there is an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in one’s body, that can spell big trouble. A C. Diff infection is known as a “Nosocomial Infection”. This type of infection is one that is acquired in a hospital setting, during a prolonged stay. There are various types of C. Diff but the most common strain is the North American Pulsed Field type 1, better NAP1, which can lead to serious illness.

HOW DO PATIENTS GET C. DIFF?

C.Diff is often found in patients who are in long term care and are receiving antibiotic treatment for long periods of time. It also occurs in patients who receive a high dose of antibiotics. While antibiotics are beneficial for treating various conditions, they also destroy the good bacteria. Without the proper balance, the C. Diff bacteria that was once tamed, now has the opportunity to go rampant. Elderly patients and those with compromised immunity are particularly at risk. Patients can also contract C. Diff through physical contact. The bacterium is passed through spores found in feces. These spores can live on surfaces for months. Health facilities risk an outbreak if soiled linens and contaminated surfaces are not properly sterilized. Healthcare workers contribute to this risk when good hand hygiene is not practiced. Other factors that increase risk are: Gastro Intestinal surgery, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Chemotherapy drugs, Renal disease, a weak immune system and a previous C. Diff infection.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

C. Diff symptoms include:

Watery Diarrhea (3-15 times per day)
Severe abdominal pain
Nausea
Appetite Loss
Fever
Bloody Stool
Weight loss

C. Diff creates toxins that cause the colon to become damaged and inflamed. Different strains cause various levels of illness. NAP1, as mentioned before is the most common strain of C. Difficile bacteria. C. Difficle is diagnosed when a patient develops diarrhea during hospitalization, while on current antibiotic treatment or within two months of a past treatment. The physician will request a stool sample to confirm the presence of C.Difficile and to determine if it is a serious infection. Most cases are mild but with the right course of action can be treated efficiently and effectively.

HOW IS IT TREATED?

The first course of action is to discontinue the current antibiotic treatment. This method usually allows for the healthy bacteria to be replenished and eradicate the C. Diff overgrowth within a few days. The physician may order treatment using Metronidazole or Vancomycin. These drugs stop the growth of C.Difficile. Another form of treatment is Probiotics, which has been proven to prevent recurring infections. If the infection leads to more serious issues, surgery may be required to remove damaged portions of the colon. This is level of treatment is rare.

Safety Precautions

Most hospitals have implemented hand hygiene education and policies for the medical staff as well as protective equipment such as gloves and gowns for those who deliver direct care to the infected patient. There are signs posted on the doors and walls of patients who have C. Diff, but it can be confusing for the common person to understand. This list of precautions can save you and your family from contracting or spreading the infection:

1. Wash hands thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds frequently
(Most recommend singing the Alphabet or Happy Birthday song as a timer)
2. Ask the staff if the chairs and surfaces have been cleaned with Chlorine Bleach prior to entering the room.
3. Put on any protective gear that is placed at the entry of the patient’s room. This includes gowns and/or masks.
4. Avoid contact with the patient’s bedding. If the patient needs to be moved or cleaned, seek assistance from a nurse. Fecal matter isn’t always visible to the eye. If contact is made with the bed linens or surface, wash your hands right after.
5. Avoid using the patient’s restroom while visiting. C. Diff spores can live on surfaces for long periods of time. To avoid infection, use the visitor designated restrooms.

With rising concerns regarding C. Diff infections, it is easy to understand why patients may consider an alternative option. One of those options is CDPAP, Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program. This is a Medicaid program that allows the patient to receive home care and participate in his or her care plan. This alternative provides patients who have experience past C. Diff infections with a way to be treated in the environment where they feel the safest. With the proper knowledge and practices, we can work with the healthcare community to lessen the occurrence of C. Diff infections and ensure safe experiences for all patients.

infection control is an important aspect of patient safety in healthcareEvan is a rare-breed of freelance writers who, believe it or not, doesn’t drink coffee! With a passion for sustainability and quality of life, he’s grateful for the opportunities he’s had to share his thoughts and stories with people through this crazy place called the internet.

poor infection controlposes serious risks

Poor Infection Control at Hospitals Poses Serious Risks to Patient Safety

infection control and patient safety in healthcare

What is the most effective way to reduce hospital borne infections to increase patient safety in healthcare?

The following guest post on infection control in healthcare was submitted by Cade Parian.

Millions Impacted

There are an estimated 1.7 million cases of hospital-acquired infections every year. Almost 100,000 of those cases result in death.

Infections contracted in hospital settings are technically called healthcare-associated infections or HAI’s. They are caused by exposure to bacteria, fungi, or viruses while in a healthcare setting. Common healthcare procedures where infections are introduced are during surgery; catheter insertion; ventilation services; and any type of injection.

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 1 in 20 hospitalized patients develop some type of infection.

Common Types of Infection

Some Healthcare-Acquired Infections go unnoticed with little harm. However, others are devastating. Patients endure physical pain and suffering as well as financial devastation due to the increased treatment costs. Some infections cause permanent damage and even death.

Catheter-Assisted Urinary Tract Infections – One of the more preventable infections. It often occurs when a catheter is left in a patient too long. Commonly affected areas are the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys.

Pneumonia Caused by Ventilators – Infection that develops 48 hours or more after mechanical ventilation is given. The lower respiratory tract or lung parenchyma is invaded by microorganisms causing this infection.

Necrotizing Fascitis or Flesh Eating Bacteria – While rare, this serious bacterial infection spreads quickly and kills the body’s soft tissue.

Clostridium Difficile or C. diff – These bacteria live in your digestive tract. When these bacteria overgrow, it releases toxins that attack the lining of the intestines. 14,000 deaths (mostly the elderly) are caused each year.

Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE – These germs are highly resistant to antibiotics. More than 50% of the cases cause death. Most cases are caused by improper use of a duodenoscope. There are multiple types of CRE’s including:
• Klebsiella;
• Escherichia Coli or E. Coli;
• Klebsiella Pheumoniae Carbapenemase or KPC;
• New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase or NDM; and
• Verona Integron-Mediated Metallo-Lactamase or VIM.

Meningitis – The meninges are the protective lining around the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis often comes in outbreaks of multiple cases. Usually a contaminated instrument or drug causes the meningitis to spread.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus or MRSA – These bacteria live in your nose and on your skin. When it enters surgical sites, it becomes invasive. It can lead to heart valve infections, bone infections, organ abscesses, joint infections, and sepsis or blood poisoning. The danger is bigger for MRSA, because it is not commonly killed by standard antibiotics.

Sepsis – A deadly blood infection that triggers widespread inflammation of the body. It affects over 1 million American each year. Multiple organ failure and even death are caused by sepsis or septicemia.

Infections Cost Healthcare Billions

JAMA Internal Medicine issued a study in September 2013 estimating that healthcare-acquired infections cost the US healthcare system almost $10 billion per year. Many of those infections are preventable.

The average cost of treating common hospital infections are:
• Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infections – $45,000
• Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia – $40,144
• Surgical Site Infections – $20,785
• C. Diff. – $11,000

There are several things hospital staff can do in order to minimize risk of hospital-acquired infections such as:

• Washing hands often
• Keeping patient skin clean around wounds
• Wear gowns, masks and gloves

Hospital infections should be prevented in order to reduce morbidity, mortality, duration of hospital stay, and cost. Good hygiene and aseptic techniques have generally proved to be successful, but these practices are often not sustainable. Keeping constant watch and following the simple steps above could help minimize the risk of infections.

Cade Parian is a Metro Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer representing injured people all over the nation. His folksy demeanor coupled with his ability to fit into any social and professional situation make him an attorney called upon by clients and other attorneys alike. A husband and father of two young children, he enjoys being the worst golfer on any golf course at any time when not preparing for trial or chasing children.

how to increase patient safety in healthcare

6 Tips for Helping Your Patients Feel Safe in Your Office

how to increase patient safety in healthcare

Learn more about practical tips you can adopt at the doctor’s office to increase patient safety.

The following guest post on patient safety in healthcare was submitted by Kara Masterson.

The relationship between patients and their medical care providers is fundamental to the effectiveness of treatment. A lot of people don’t feel comfortable in doctors’ offices, some more than others. Professionals such as dentists, counselors, and therapists can have a hard time dealing with scared patients. A doctor must have a way to forge a relationship and maintain it throughout, and that begins by making patients feel safe when they visit your office. Here are just a few tips to help make that possible:

Polite Staff

Some of the fears that individuals have are results of bad experiences that start at the reception desk of a doctor’s office. The first encounter that a patient gets shapes their perception of how the place operates, so if it’s a bad one, it will affect how they behave when they see you. Ensure that all the staff members know how to talk to patients and keep the comfortable.

Non-Threatening Surroundings

Fear of a doctor’s office may arise from the environment that patients have to be in when they come for their appointments. This problem is, especially a common one in dentists’ offices where patients take one look and fear sets in. Bric-a-brac spread around the room can distract patients from intimidating tools or equipment present in the settings. Kid-friendly furniture, TV, toys, and play areas can also make your office more accommodating to kids.

Initiate Conversations

Some patients find it hard to open up when undergoing therapy, making it necessary to try a few tactics to get them to talk. Therapists and counselors who have been through social work doctoral programs have the skills to communicate with patients in ways that calm their fears. You should establish a technique to talk to patients that include using the right language, words, and tone.

Sensitivity

Good bedside manners will go a long way in getting rid of fears in your patients. Things like disrobing for tests can be uncomfortable for some people, so be sensitive to their feelings and reassure them when they need it. People always like having someone there for them that is sensitive to how they are feeling.

Explain

Doctors sometimes forget that patients don’t have an inherent knowledge of what they are talking about and ramble on and on when giving information. Take the time to lay out details for a patient and take them through every step. Don’t confuse patients with jargon. By taking time to explain to your patients in their language what is happening you can really help make them feel more comfortable.

Engage

A patient may have concerns such as the cost of treatment and financing options but may be too afraid to ask you upfront. The NCBH recommends engaging patients by asking questions to open opportunities.

Overall, there are tons of different things you can do to help your patients feel comfortable in your office. You want to make sure that you space is comfortable and secure for everyone that comes in it. Not only can that help make your patients feel good, but it can help you feel good as well.

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

University Health Reaps Benefits of Photo Biometrics for Patient ID

University Health Reaps Benefits of Photo Biometrics for Patient ID

photo biometrics for patient ID in healthcare

Augusta, GA based University Health Care implemented photo biometrics for patient ID to increase patient safety.

The following post was submitted by Brad Marshall, Enterprise Development Consultant with RightPatient®

Biometric Patient ID No Longer a Movie Prop

It wasn’t so long ago that the term “biometric patient ID” wasn’t even in the lexicon of healthcare providers as a reliable means to improve patient safety, eliminate duplicate medical records, prevent medical ID theft, and increase patient data integrity. In fact, just a few years ago, many providers had never even heard of biometrics used to accurately identify patients and those that did know about the technology could only relate to what they had seen on the movie screen or read in a science fantasy novel. 

Today, the use of biometrics for patient ID in healthcare has sharply risen as more healthcare organizations realize the technology’s potential to better protect individuals from the perils of misidentification and better understand the ability of select biometric patient ID solutions to be seamlessly integrated into EHR workflow.

However, what stands as a true testament to the rising use of biometrics for patient identification in healthcare is the ability of the technology to demonstrate realized return on investment (ROI) against the goals set forth prior to implementation. In other words, the true “proof in the pudding” of biometrics for patient ID can be benchmarked through multiple objectives — how significant was the reduction in duplicate medical records and chart corrections? What percentage of patients are opting into the biometric patient ID system? Has investment in biometrics for patient ID streamlined patient registration? Is the technology effective in reducing cases of fraud and medical ID theft?

University Health Deploys Photo Biometrics for Patient ID

In most cases, biometric patient identification deployments must mature to a certain level in order to measure the impact on improving patient safety and the additional aforementioned goals and objectives. In other words, beyond restricting medical ID theft and healthcare fraud at the point of service, it’s impractical to expect immediate results after deploying biometrics for patient ID. The system must be in place for a certain period of time before healthcare providers can expect to reap additional benefits — categories such as patient acceptance and enrollment and reduction of duplicate medical records for example.

Augusta, GA based University Health Care System is a classic example of a healthcare organization that had clear goals and objectives in mind prior to implementing biometrics for patient ID and are now realizing benefits from their choice of photo biometrics over other hardware alternatives. University Health officials have been pleased of the simplicity of photo biometrics where patients take their photo and are instantly identified followed by the retrival of their correct medical record in the Epic EHR system. With over 99% of patients choosing to enroll in the biometric patient ID solution, University quickly amassed a database of 50,000 patients to participate and the numbers keep increasing each day.

Perhaps equally important is the fact that since implementing RightPatient®, University Health has seen nearly a 30% decrease in chart corrections, defined as the health information management (HIM) department’s need to go back into a chart and correct any data entry errors during the patient registration process. RightPatient® has also been instrumental to eliminate write–offs directly related to patient fraud — in one case a patient attempted to commit healthcare fraud by using multiple aliases in the ED to illegally obtain prescription drugs. Photo biometrics quickly caught the patient by revealing they had previously enrolled under s separate identity and University Health officials were able to quickly notify on-site authorities who sprang into action.

Conclusion

University Health made a conscious choice to implement photo biometrics for patient ID after carefully evaluating the characteristics and limitations of fingerprint and palm vein. They concluded that photo biometrics was the most accurate, hygienic, and versatile solution available with strong potential for future deployment at additional patient touchpoints including mobile devices, patient portals, and telehealth — touchpoints along the care continuum that fingerprint and palm vein just do not have the ability to address.

Learn more about University Health’s use of photo biometrics for patient ID and stay tuned for more posts on what benefits our end users realize after investing in photo biometrics for patient ID. 

patient ID in healthcareBrad Marshall is an Enterprise Development Consultant with RightPatient®. With several years of experience implementing both large and small scale biometric patient identification projects in healthcare, Brad works closely with key hospital executives and front line staff to ensure project success.

patient safety builds trust in healthcare

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

patient safety builds trust in healthcare

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

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

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

Sanitation

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

Medical Misconceptions

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

Communication

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

Boundaries

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

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

frost sullivan on growth and potential of iris biometrics

New Podcast: Frost & Sullivan on Growth and Potential of Iris Biometrics

iris biometrics for patient identification in healthcare

Listen to our latest healthcare podcast where we interview Ram Ravi from Frost & Sullivan to discuss iris biometrics.

Last year, global research and consulting organization Frost and Sullivan released a research report entitled: “The 5 Year Opportunity Analysis of the Global Iris Recognition Market.” According to Frost & Sullivan’s Web site, the report:

“analyses trends in the iris recognition market across the government and commercial sectors, globally.”

Frost & Sullivan reports that iris biometrics is predicted to steadily grow as a prominent technology for individual identification within a number of verticals including patient identification in healthcare. However, misunderstandings of this technology are still widespread along with questions about its potential applications. Frost & Sullivan covers:

  • Key market drivers
  • Potential applications for iris biometrics
  • Accuracy rates compared to other biometric modalities (palm vein and fingerprint)
  • Unique features (e.g. – non-contact, hygienic form factor)  

We invited Ram Ravi, lead research analyst for Frost & Sullivan, to join us on our latest podcast to discuss this report and provide some insight into his research on iris recognition biometrics to help our community better understand this technology and its potential to thrive as a future biometric identification modality, especially for patient identification in healthcare. In light of the continued misunderstandings of iris biometrics, this podcast covers:

  • Overview of the report, the “5-year Opportunity Analysis of the Global Iris Recognition Market”
  • Why Frost & Sullivan sees growth of iris recognition in healthcare as a key mechanism for expansion of this biometric identification technology
  • The factors leading Frost and Sullivan to conclude that iris recognition is poised for strong growth as a dominant biometric identification management technology
  • When faced with a choice of biometric modalities to deploy for patient identification in healthcare, why Frost & Sullivan recommends iris recognition technology over other modalities such as fingerprint or palm vein
  • How Frost & Sullivan came to the conclusion that iris biometrics is the most accurate biometric modality
  • What Frost & Sullivan would say to someone who has a mistaken idea about iris recognition based on false information
  • Aside from healthcare, the additional potential for iris recognition in the commercial space
  • The impact of the rising emphasis on connected devices (IoT) on the biometric market or specifically the iris recognition market

Among the several conclusions that Frost & Sullivan reported, these are the highlights:

  • Iris biometrics is the most accurate biometric technology in the market when compared to fingerprint and palm vein biometrics for patient identification in healthcare
  • The non-contact, hygienic form-factor of iris biometrics renders it a safer technology to use for patient ID in healthcare that supports hospital infection control
  • Iris biometrics is the same thing as having your photo taken with a digital camera and is extremely non-invasive
  • Frost & Sullivan feels that iris biometrics has a much stronger potential for growth for patient identification in healthcare than fingerprint or palm vein due to the aforementioned points
  • Iris biometrics has strong potential for growth related to the Internet of Things (IoT)

We encourage you to download a full version of the podcast to hear more about iris biometrics. 

A link to the podcast can be found on our healthcare biometrics podcast page. A link to the podcast summary slides can be found on our SlideShare page

Thank you to Ram Ravi and the Frost & Sullivan team for the opportunity to discuss their research!

For a full list of all our podcasts, please visit our podcast page