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RightPatient protects patient privacy and patient safety

Takeaways from the 2015 NE NAHAM Regional Conference – “Improving the Patient Experience”

RightPatient protects patient privacy and patient safety

David Cuberos, Enterprise Sales consultant with RightPatient®, poses with Bryan Marcotte from Baystate Health, winner of the gift card door prize at the 2015 NE NAHAM regional conference.

The following guest post was written by David Cuberos, Enterprise Sales Consultant with RightPatient®

The time that we spend meeting with patient access professionals in the field is important to us. It’s an opportunity for our team to better understand core patient access functions/workflow and how these critical front line staffers help mold the patient experience as a first point of contact in what can often be a long, complex journey through the healthcare system. Our strong support for the National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM) and their regional chapters is a key relationship — instrumental to our product and service design and the ability for us as healthcare software vendors to deliver a solution that meets the dynamic needs of these healthcare professionals and moves the patient safety needle in a positive direction.

Last week, we had the opportunity to meet with patient access professionals from the northeast region of the U.S. to discuss the patient access professionals’ impact on the patient experience. We learned a lot about challenges faced by patient access staff, how it impacts workflow, and what new technology solutions are available to help meet the shifting and often complex demands of this position. 

We also had the opportunity to discuss the ongoing conundrum of achieving accurate patient identification with show attendees and display our biometric patient identification solution that helps to increase patient safety and eliminate duplicate medical records/overlays and prevent medical identity theft and healthcare fraud. This was an ideal environment for us to not only help educate attendees on the value of implementing a patient identification solution, but it also provided us the opportunity to clear up misunderstandings about how this technology operates in a healthcare setting. As we do at all events, we learned a great deal about what types of questions healthcare professionals have about this technology and walked away with some key takeaways:

1. Retinal scanning and iris recognition are two different biometric technologies: This is a recurring misunderstanding we consistently see wherever we go. Due to the fact that both retinal scanning and iris recognition use the human eye for identification, most people believe that the technology is the same. In fact, the two are very different – explained in this blog post we wrote that breaks down the differences between iris recognition and retinal scanning.

2. Patient acceptance of iris recognition is extremely high: Some believe that using the iris as a unique identification credential can invoke patient trepidation to register their biometrics as a way to protect their identity and ensure accurate treatment throughout the care continuum. However, when healthcare staff observes the iris camera in person, they realize that it is perhaps the least invasive biometric modality because it simply takes a high-resolution digital photograph of the patient and can identify them in less than three seconds. Our field research supports patient acceptance of iris recognition for identification, with over a 99% acceptance rate.

3. Proper due diligence of biometric patient ID vendors is critical: Did you know that not all biometric matching types support the elimination of duplicate medical records or have the ability to prevent medical identity theft and healthcare fraud in real-time? Are you concerned about implementing a contact dependent biometric modality for patient identification that may jeopardize hospital infection control policies or require additional investments in a cleaning solution or wipes after each use? Does a biometric identification system seamlessly integrate with your electronic health record system to accurately authenticate patients from any touchpoint along the care continuum? Does your biometric patient identification solution have the ability to secure remote access to protected health information (PHI) from patient portals and/or mHealth apps

These are all important to ask when evaluating biometric patient identification vendors but our experience is that many hospitals aren’t asking the right questions. 

4. Hospital resources to resolving duplicate medical records are staggering: We continue to be amazed at the number of hospital staff dedicated to resolving duplicate medical records. In fact we spoke with a few attendees who mentioned that they have “teams of people” dealing with duplicate medical record clean-up. Although we can’t understate enough the importance of maintaining clean data, we have longed believed that implementation of modern patient identification technologies that have the ability to not only clean a master patient index (MPI), but sustain the integrity of the data moving forward. The key to preventing duplicate medical records is implementation of technology that can accurately identify patients no matter where they are along the care continuum.  

5. Patient experience can be boosted through the use of biometric patient identification technology: Patients pay close attention to their experience at a medical facility. Patient knowledge of the negative effects of duplicate medical records and medical identity theft has increased their empowerment to seek services at facilities where their identities are protected. Implementing a biometric patient identification solution to protect patient identities invokes the emotion that medical facilities care about safeguarding patient safety and privacy. 

Understanding how to improve the patient experience in healthcare requires careful examination of processes and workflow that bring convenience and demonstrate a genuine interest in protecting patient identities. We continue in our mission to provide the most comprehensive and holistic patient identification solutions available to help improve the patient experience in healthcare.

A special shout out to Bryan Marcotte from Baystate Health as the winner of the gift card door prize. Congratulations Bryan!

How can we help you to improve the patient experience at your medical facility?

biometric patient identification prevents duplicate medical recordsDavid Cuberos is an Enterprise Sales Consultant with RightPatient® helping hospitals and healthcare organizations realize the benefits of implementing biometrics for patient identification to; increase patient safety, eliminate duplicate medical records and overlays, and prevent medical identity theft and healthcare fraud.

misunderstading biometric patient identification tchnology can be dangerous

Post Show Thoughts on Biometric Patient Identification from the 41st Annual NAHAM Conference

misunderstading biometric patient identification tchnology can be dangerous

Misunderstandings of biometric patient identification technologies was a recurring theme we observed at the 41st Annual NAHAM trade show.

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

Last week we wrapped up participation in the 41st Annual National Association of Healthcare Access Management (NAHAM) trade show in Indianapolis, IN. We were happy to be represented as a healthcare biometric patient identificaiton and data integrity vendor, demonstrating the strength and ubiquity of our solution and offering demos of iris recognition as a smart modality to consider for patient ID in a healthcare environment.

Through our conversations with NAHAM trade show attendees, we learned a lot about their perceptions of biometric patient identification and helped to clear up common misunderstandings of how the technology works to keep patients safe, eliminate duplicate medical records, and prevent healthcare fraud and medical identity theft at the point of service. Common misunderstandings, their clarifications, and key takeaways included:

  • Misunderstanding  – All biometric patient identificaiton technologies have the ability to prevent duplicate medical records, eliminate fraud and ID theft in real time, and improve medical data record integrity.
    Clarification  – The ONLY way to prevent duplicate medical records and improve patient data integrity with biometrics is to implement a system that, during patient enrollment, compares a captured template against ALL stored templates in the biometric database. This is known as a “one-to-many” (1:N) comparison. It’s also the only way to ensure high levels of data integrity across the HIE or IDN.  
    Takeaway – Understanding the differences in biometric matching is vital if you expect the system to prevent duplicate medical records and improve medical record data integrity. If you are relying on biometric patient ID technology that segments the EHR database (i.e. – entering a date of birth) prior to performing a search, this is not a true way to prevent duplicates, fraud, or medical ID theft.
    For more information, please click here.
  • Misunderstanding – Biometric hardware devices that require patient contact are acceptable in a healthcare environment.
    Clarification – Biometric hardware modalities that require physical contact by a patient do not support hospital infection control policies and open the door to spreading germs and illness. Plus, patients are less likely to enroll in a biometric patient identification system that requires physical contact (e.g. – palm vein and fingerprint) over modalities that do not require any contact (e.g. – iris recognition).
    Takeaway – Patient acceptance and subsequent enrollment in a biometric patient identificaiton initiative is critical to the success of the deployment. Patients are less likely to enroll in a biometric patient ID system when it requires physical contact with a hardware device.
    For more information, please click here.
  • Misunderstanding – Experience in the biometrics industry doesn’t matter in the context of deploying a patient identification system within a healthcare environment.
    Clarification – The success of any biometric identification management deployment is largely dependent on a solution provider’s experience deploying biometrics in a variety of physical and geographical environments to draw from that wisdom and customize the solution to fit the unique needs of any end user. Chances are, healthcare facilities would rather work with a vendor that has a long track record of deploying biometric identification management projects around the world in a host of environments with varying conditions and has the ability to discern implementing the most effective and sustainable hardware and software solutions that will maximize return on investment (ROI).
    Takeaway – When performing due diligence on biometric patient identification vendors, don’t discount experience as a key factor in your decision to invest. Vendors that have a long history of experience in deploying biometric technology in a variety of industries and offer cloud applications, system integration, high-performance computing, human factor engineering, and machine learning helps to ensure that you will always be provided with innovative, scalable, practical solutions that are the best possible fit for your needs.
    For more information, please click here.
  • Misunderstanding – Biometric patient identifcation technologies only apply to patients who have physical identifcation credentials.
    Clarification – We heard quite a few attendees comment that due to limitations in their existing biometric patient identification solutions, they only enroll patients who can physically present official identification documentation leaving all other problem areas unaddressed (e.g. – patients without identification, “frequent flyers,” drug seekers, etc.). The truth is that a core value of an effective biometric patient identification solutions is it’s ability to enroll ALL patients, regardless of the conditions that exist to truly capitalize on the purpose of implementing the system – to protect patient safety and eliminate duplicates, fraud, and ID theft. 
    Takeaway – Biometric patient identification vendors who offer the ability to reliably verify a patient’s claimed identity prior to his/her initial biometric enrollment add more value by ensuring that a patient can verify their claimed identity which produces cleaner data.
    For more information, click here.

As a biometric patient identification solution provider who spends a lot of time at healthcare trade shows listening to feedback from healthcare professionals on their perception and understanding of this technology, we hear quite a few misunderstandings about how it actually works and a solution’s capabilities to accomplish the stated objective of increasing patient safety, eliminating duplicate medical records, and preventing fraud and medical ID theft. As a biometric technology vendor with over a decade of experience implementing solutions in a variety of verticals and environments around the world, we understand the criteria that leads to a successful deployment. Please visit our “Resources” Web site page to learn more about biometric patient identification and dispel some of the common misunderstandings that exist.

What was your biggest takeaway from the 41st Annual NAHAM conference?

P.S. – Congratulations to Anne Marie Mariani, Corporate Director of Patient Access at St. Luke’s Hospital and Healthcare for winning the $100 Amazongift certificate we raffled off at our booth!

bradBrad 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. 

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