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RightPatient-ensures-touchless-and-hygienic-patient-identity-verification

Patient Identity Verification Must be Touchless After COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has been the biggest changemaker in recent decades. After months of lockdown, social distancing, and gradual reopening of society, new cases are being seen in the US again. While everything may seem uncertain for now, one thing is for sure – COVID-19 has changed reality for everyone. Going to restaurants and hanging out with friends are things of the past now and there is no telling when all this will be normal again. The coronavirus has highlighted one thing in particular that will stay for us with a long time to come – how to reduce physical contact with others. Healthcare providers have had headaches of infection control issues for years now, but it is the headache of the average patient after the pandemic shook the world. While there will be a rise in usage and demand in touchless technology in the future, such as facial/voice recognition attendance systems, printing board passes via gestures, etc., one area where it is crucially needed is during the patient identity verification process. Let’s analyze the current condition of patient identification processes used, why a uniform identifier is not used by providers, and how leading healthcare providers are ensuring accurate patient identification.

RightPatient-ensures-touchless-and-hygienic-patient-identity-verification

Patient identity verification – the current scenario

Patient identification errors have been a much-discussed topic in this space, and for good reason. It is still one of the biggest problems healthcare providers are facing – leading to denied claims, medical identity theft, increased losses, and patient safety issues. While ineffective patient identity verification is a prevalent issue, different providers are implementing different solutions to solve them. But shouldn’t there be a uniform method of patient identification present? That is where the UPI comes in.

The mythical UPI

UPIs, or unique patient identifiers, have been the talk for years now. UPIs can be anything that is, as the name suggests, unique to a single patient. Its absence has led to quite a few problems within the US healthcare system, including duplicate medical records, waste, and preventable medical errors. In fact, John Hopkins has said that over 250,000 people in the US die due to medical errors, many of which are due to incorrect patient records and data. These unfortunate deaths could have been avoided with accurate patient identification. But why, then, is UPI still not a thing? Why do healthcare providers still struggle with patient identification? 

Healthcare providers, as well as respected leaders in the healthcare system, have been clamoring for a UPI for years now. In fact, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) mandates that a UPI be created for patients. However, there have been concerns since the beginning of talks regarding a UPI – how it might be stolen, misused, or worse, just like Social Security numbers. Basically, lawmakers were concerned as to how UPI could be kept private and confidential so that third parties cannot gain unauthorized access to it. Thus, back in 1998, Congress banned the authorization of a state-funded UPI. The stance has not changed after all these years. Even in 2019, the House of Representatives voted to revoke the ban, but the Senate let it stay. The lack of an effective patient identifier has been haunting the US healthcare industry ever since the UPI was banned in 1998.

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How is the US healthcare system verifying patient identity?

Different healthcare providers are using different methods for patient identity verification. However, most of them are rendered ineffective now due to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier, only healthcare providers used to think about infection control issues. Now, it is a headache for the patients as well.

While some are waiting around for the government to approve a state-funded UPI, they are facing a constant struggle with the usage of an obsolete means to identify patients – asking them questions. This has a lot of loopholes – it is slow, tedious, and anyone can assume the identity of the patient as long as they have the patient’s data with them, leading to medical identity theft.

Others are using patient ID wristbands. While more effective than asking questions, this, too, can be stolen, transferred, and used to commit medical identity theft. Not to mention, these require physical contact as well, something that patients will very much be reluctant to do nowadays – a result of the pandemic.

An effective patient identity verification system is biometric patient identification. Once again, not all modalities are effective, safe, and practical. As mentioned earlier, the pandemic has changed reality for all of us – patient identification is no exception.

Patient Identity Verification Must be Touchless After COVID-19
Patient Identity Verification Must be Touchless After COVID-19

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

While biometric modalities like fingerprint and palm-vein scanning are effective, they require the one thing patients will not be ready to do for a long time – touch the device to verify their identities. Hospitals are the epicenter of infection control issues, and while every provider has been dealing with COVID-19 patients, regular patients will be quite hesitant to touch anything. This is especially applicable during patient identification, as they know all patients pass through this location, and contact-based devices might lead to infections.

Touchless patient identity verification is the future

This is where RightPatient comes in. We have been providing hospitals with a touchless biometric patient identification platform for years now. Since the beginning, our focus was to ensure patient safety, which is why we always suggested healthcare providers consider our touchless solution that eliminates any infection control headaches related to patient identification. Unlike touch-based solutions, our devices do not require cleaning after every use.

The medical records of the patients are locked with their photos upon registration. Whenever the patient returns, RightPatient identifies the right medical record within seconds after the patient looks at the camera. 

RightPatient has been serving leading healthcare providers like Community Medical Centers, University Medical Center, and DukeHealth. It has helped with eliminating the creation of duplicate medical records, preventing medical identity theft, and enhancing patient safety through accurate patient identification in a hygienic manner.

We shared the same concerns healthcare providers have – how to ensure accurate patient identity verification while eliminating infection control issues. After the pandemic, patients have the same concern too. Are you addressing it correctly? If not, contact us right away.

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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. 

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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.

 RightPatient-reduces-significant-healthcare-costs

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.

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?

rightpatient-leader-in-patient-identity-matching

Patient Identity Matching – Solving an unsolved crisis with RightPatient

Accurate patient identity matching holds paramount significance across the U.S. healthcare system. Delivering the best possible patient experience, including safety and outcome, hinges on the ability of the healthcare providers to keep and maintain accurate medical records. Healthcare providers continue to struggle to accurately match their patients’ identities to their health records, and blame it on inaccurate and incomplete patient data, says the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Physicians should be able to retrieve accurate records on each patient’s medical history, including lab results, diagnoses, medications, imaging, surgeries, etc. to deliver the best patient care. Needless to say, accurate patient identity matching during the COVID-19 crisis is vital for ensuring a positive patient experience.

rightpatient-leader-in-patient-identity-matching

Can healthcare providers solve the patient identity matching crisis? Yes, and the solution is RightPatient – a leading touchless biometric patient identity management platform that has been successfully helping many leading hospitals address this specific issue.

Accurate patient identity matching ensures that the right patient is associated with the right medical records within a healthcare system. It means knowing with certainty that a piece of medical information belongs to the correct individual. There are many consequences if records are mismatched, such as incorrect treatment, improper data entries which can lead to the creation of duplicate records, and medical identity theft. Effective patient identity matching is not just about patient safety, it also helps healthcare providers avoid financial losses associated with duplicate records and claim denials from medical identity theft. 

How costly are patient identity matching errors?

Let us look at this example. A patient’s kidney was surgically removed by the time physicians realized that there was no tumor. This blunder in the operating room of Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Mass., occurred when the patient’s CT scan was accidentally mixed up with the record of another patient who had the same name. The incident was widely reported in July 2016 when regulators came to investigate what exactly happened. Most people who read the accounts thought it was a rare blunder. But this type of blunder is not rare at all. 

Every day in medical clinics and hospitals, physicians assume they have an accurate picture of a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, lab results, and other information when they click into an electronic medical record (EMR). But this assumption can lead to fatal consequences, like the example mentioned above.

The problem is called patient identity matching error, a crisis that RightPatient has been addressing for years. One of the most severe match errors is when two patients’ medical records, with a similar or same name, get merged, leading to an erroneous organ removal or other nightmares. More common than this is the creation of duplicate medical records. For instance, Christina Elizabeth Smith, Cristina E. Smith, and C. E. Smith refers to the same individual, but her medical information is filed under three separate records. Neither the physician nor the patient will be aware of missing data points when they are discussing treatment decisions or procedures. 

The problem with common identifiers

Duplicate medical records can be created in many ways. One of the most common sources of duplicate records is making errors during the patient registration process. Other variations can be associated with identifying an unconscious patient when they are in the ER. Many times, duplicate records are also created due to demographic changes for the patient. Registrars face difficulties when patients change their last name or move to another place, so they create a new record for that individual. 

Patient identity matching errors can also occur when there is a variation in using common identifiers during the registration or identification process. A simple typo or mishearing the correct word can result in a mismatch in records. 

Common identifiers are also used to commit medical identity theft, an issue that healthcare providers have been trying to avoid for the past several years. A fraudster can easily get access to this type of information and fraudulently imitate someone else’s identity to get medication/benefits for their own use. 

These kinds of problems can be mitigated if common identifiers such as names, DOB, SSNs, or other demographic data used during the initial registration and identification process are replaced with the unique identifiers that RightPatient uses. For instance, identifying and authenticating an individual by using their iris pattern or a photo of their face. 

Accurate Patient Identity Matching with RightPatient

RightPatient is a touchless biometric patient identity management platform. Problems pertaining to duplicate records, medical identity theft, and record mismatch have been successfully mitigated by using RightPatient. Leading healthcare providers such as Terrebonne General Medical Center and The University Health Care System have successfully eliminated these sorts of problems and are continuously delivering the best experience for their patients with utmost clinical efficiency. 

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During the initial patient enrollment process, RightPatient will lock an individual’s medical records using their iris pattern or a photo of their face. Each time a patient arrives at the continuum of care, RightPatient will verify and authenticate their identity through an iris scanner, camera, or a webcam and retrieve their accurate medical records.

As a leader in the patient identity matching process, RightPatient helps healthcare providers to keep and maintain accurate medical records of their patients. Patient identity matching problems related to aggregating patient data via Health Information Exchanges (HIE) can be eliminated if all the healthcare providers adopt RightPatient, ensuring the best clinical outcome and data integrity across the healthcare system.

Patient Identity Matching - Solving an unsolved crisis with RightPatient
Patient Identity Matching - Solving an unsolved crisis with RightPatient

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, touchless biometric technologies will play a key role in the next few years. RightPatient ensures safety and hygiene in a health facility by limiting physical contact between people and frequently touched high-risk surfaces, such as fingerprint scanners. Adopt RightPatient and make sure that one patient does not have multiple records in the master patient index (MPI) and that each piece of health information ends up in the correct patient record.

rightpatient-can-improve-quality-and-safety-in-healthcare

Improve Quality and Safety in Healthcare With Touchless Patient Identification

In the medical field, elective procedures are surgeries that can be scheduled in advance, including those that are medically required. The U.S. healthcare industry is losing millions of dollars due to canceled elective procedures. Studies have found that surgical stays account for approximately 48% of hospitalization costs and elective procedures bring in $700 more per admission than emergency room admissions. For obvious reasons, many people have stopped going to hospitals, even those with critical medical conditions, since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. On the bright side, more than half of the health consumers now feel moderately safe about returning for elective procedures. But much of it will hinge on ensuring quality and safety in healthcare.

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Hospitals are considering when and how to recommence elective procedures as the surge in COVID-19 patients in some areas of the country has slowed down. But families and patients will want to know what changes the healthcare providers made from when they were told to stay at home. They want reassurance that hospitals have undertaken appropriate measures for ensuring quality and safety in healthcare delivery, and it will take time and proper resources for physicians to convince the consumers. 

Key takeaways

In a recent webinar panel discussion with some patient and family advisors conducted by Vizient, they found out that patients are likely to return to elective procedures in waves. The initial wave will include those who will come forward no matter the risks, such as oncology patients, patients with impairment affecting their daily life activities, or those in pain. This will be followed by the second wave, who may return if they feel safe about hospital hygiene, for instance, low risks of getting infected or a low-risk procedure with a minimum follow up. Other findings also include transparency and communications. To feel safe, patients will want to know that safety and infection prevention processes are in action, including cleaning of handrails, elevators, and other high-touch surfaces, and clinicians wearing personal protective equipment throughout the care.

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Feel safe with RightPatient’s touchless patient identification platform

As the aforementioned examples suggest, patients will demand assurance from providers that they are taking actions to ensure quality and safety in healthcare delivery. Adopting RightPatient’s platform is an ideal strategy to make sure of that. Elective procedures or not, at the initial stage, identifying patients accurately and matching their medical records is an integral part of the healthcare delivery process. As an industry leader, RightPatient has helped many healthcare providers tackle the patient identification crisis and improved quality and safety in healthcare delivery. With patients demanding more hygienic solutions, RightPatient’s touchless identification process can help hospitals convince healthcare consumers to come in during this or a post-COVID-19 crisis.

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RightPatient is an entirely touchless biometric patient identification platform. From pre-procedure through discharge, this platform can match a patient’s identity and pull up their correct medical records throughout the continuum of patient care. All a patient needs to do is get their photo captured by a smartphone, tablet, or a webcam from a safe distance, and RightPatient will instantly identify the patient and bring up their medical records. Additionally, RightPatient also has a remote patient authentication model. During this process, RightPatient can validate patient identities while they are at home by comparing their ID (e.g.driver’s license) and selfie photos. 

Improve Quality and Safety in Healthcare With Touchless Patient Identification
Improve Quality and Safety in Healthcare With Touchless Patient Identification

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

Clinical efficiency and positive patient experience will play a key role in hospitals gaining back their momentum. With RightPatient, patients can be reassured that their medical records are secure and healthcare providers can be at ease knowing there is zero chance of making a blunder in matching a patient’s identity. Besides accurate identification, this platform helps prevent medical identity theft and duplicate medical records as well, overall enhancing quality and safety in healthcare delivery.

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.

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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.

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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?

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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? 

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?

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

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. 

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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.

RightPatient-improves-patient-safety-and-quality-of-care

 

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.

front-of-an-ED-which-are-rife-with-medical-identity-theft-stories

Medical Identity Theft Stories are Common in Emergency Departments

Medical identity theft stories are quite common – many patients in the Emergency departments (ED) may suffer from it. Many healthcare providers are unaware of this growing concern. Verifying the identity of patients when they meet in the emergency room often reveals red flags, and this usually happens. Healthcare personnel, both within and outside of E.D., need to be trained regarding the precise signs of medical identity theft. They also need to activate institutional policies to prevent virtual offenders like these from engaging in further illegal activities. 

RightPatient-prevents-medical-identity-theft-stories

What’s the reason for medical identity theft?

Healthcare institutions have been facing the growth of medical identity theft incidents. The perpetrators will try to use other individuals’ personal information, such as health insurance or social security number, without any acknowledgment of him/her. Most reasons for medical identity theft are receiving medical treatment and drugs, acquiring money by false claims of medical treatment, and fabricating medical records corresponding to those claims. These are the types of offenses that cause medical identity theft.

What’s the level of threat?

A survey conducted by the Federal Trade Commission ( FTC) showed that in 2005, 3% of all identity thefts, or 249,000 attempts, were related to medical identity theft. The Ponemon Institute conducted another assessment in 2013 and found that 1.84 million individuals were victims of medical identity theft. The identity theft rate in the emergency department may be higher as they are handling comparatively more patients, and such surveys do not show individual departments’ numbers. 

Who are the victims?

Healthcare providers, payers, and many other several parties are impacted by medical identity theft. But the patients might be the most prominent victims in these offenses. Inappropriate treatment and use of drugs may lead to alarming incidents. This may also lead to financial burdens, as healthcare providers will bill actual medical identity holders or their insurance carriers for the treatments they did not receive.

A threatening story of Identity Theft

Some cases demonstrate common incidents at emergency medical departments, which eventually resurfaced as medical identity theft. The joint efforts of multiple healthcare associates, registration clerks, nursing staff, security officers, and physicians made it possible to discover the incidents. On the positive side, they managed to deal with these situations without compromising patient care, and they followed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) regulations throughout the process.

Medical Identity Theft Stories are Common in Emergency Departments
Medical Identity Theft Stories are Common in Emergency Departments

#1 Biometric Patient ID Platform

Superior flexibility, power & ROI

A notable incident is that an 18-year old male came to the Emergency Department with a headache due to his fall twelve hours before reporting. Afterward, he was questioned by the hospital security manager and a local police officer, as he appeared to the Emergency Department without any personal identification and didn’t validate his identity to the nursing staff or registration clerk. Moreover, his signatures on the hospital’s standard financial agreement and patient identification form weren’t matching with signatures given on the previous encounter. After 13 days, he was prosecuted with the information obtained by hospital security for the felony of medical identity theft and insurance fraud.

Put an end to new medical identity theft stories

Emergency Departments play an essential role in the cure of patients’ diseases. Such crimes can reduce patients’ trust in the healthcare system. RightPatient can extinguish this risk with its biometric patient identification platform. It locks the medical records with biometric data of the patients. Once the patient registers biometric data such as irises or fingerprints, only patients who have been verified by biometrics can access the record, thereby avoiding the opportunity for medical identity theft. This also helps hospitals identify accurate patient records within seconds. RightPatient can also eliminate patient matching errors by ensuring precise patient identification – enhancing patient safety.