chart corrections impact healthcare data integrity

How RightPatient Prevents Chart Corrections in Epic and Other EHRs

I’ve visited enough of our customers to know that hospital emergency rooms and free-standing EDs can sometimes be chaotic environments. Unlike most outpatient registration areas, patients who arrive to the ED do not have scheduled appointments and often go through a triage process with a nurse where they are “arrived” within the electronic health record (EHR) system. This is essentially a quick registration that begins the documentation of a patient’s visit information on his/her medical record. Unfortunately, this process often results in what are known as chart corrections.

As one might imagine, a clinician’s primary focus is on the health and safety of the patient. Nurses that triage patients are trying to enter patients into the EHR system so they can receive the appropriate care as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, data entry errors during this process are commonplace. For example, EHR system users may create a “John Doe” or “Jane Doe” medical record if they cannot properly identify the patient. Or, users may mistakenly select the wrong record because it shares a similar name with the patient in need of care.

When EHR users select the wrong patient medical record, all subsequent information pertaining to that visit is entered into that record (sometimes referred to as a medical record “overlay”). This is a data integrity failure and results in data entry errors that need to be resolved with a chart correction. So, a chart correction in the Epic EHR or other EHR systems is the process of fixing a “wrong chart entry” or overlay record that was caused by a patient identification error.

Wrong patient, wrong record data integrity failures within the EHR system can have disastrous consequences. At best, the healthcare provider must spend internal Health Information Management (HIM) resources to perform chart corrections and resolve medical record overlays, costing $60-$100 per hour for an average of 200 hours per overlay record. At worst, wrong patient errors can affect clinical decision making, patient safety, quality of care, and patient lives. This is why organizations like AHIMA have strongly advocated safeguards that healthcare providers can use to prevent medical record mix-ups, improve data integrity, and reduce the risk of adverse events.

RightPatient® is the ideal safeguard to prevent wrong patient medical record errors and chart corrections within Epic and other EHR systems. The AI platform uses cognitive vision to instantly recognize patients when their photo is captured and automatically retrieve the correct medical record. This becomes a seamless module within EHR system workflows so there is no disruption to users.

Customers like University Health Care System in Augusta, GA are effectively using RightPatient® to reduce chart corrections in Epic. In fact, UH saw a 30% reduction in Epic chart corrections within months after implementing RightPatient®. 

Healthcare providers using RightPatient® to capture patient photos significantly reduce their risk of data integrity failures. This enhances patient safety and health outcomes while reducing costs – important goals in the age of population health and value-based care.


Value-Based Care: A Patient-Centered Approach Requires Knowing Your Patient

Aspirin, penicillin, monoclonal antibodies, interventional cardiology, and genome editing have undoubtedly revolutionized medicine. However, while all of these have been breakthroughs in the field of medicine, not much has changed in the way that doctors do their jobs. Patients visit their doctors, the doctors diagnose, they recommend tests, they prescribe drugs, and they are compensated according to the volume of work done or the number of procedures performed.

If medicine is to progress in the 21st century, things have to change at every level, including the way that doctors work and receive compensation, the way they identify the right patient, and the way that patients are treated.

The long-awaited system that is going to change the way doctors work and are compensated will soon become a reality. This new system is called value-based care.

Value-based care is about compensating doctors according to outcomes. This encourages more personal attention to patients and transitions the healthcare system from cure-based to preventive medicine. It is a system in which doctors receive a higher level of compensation for either better outcomes from procedures or enabling patients to avoid health-related problems altogether.

There are several benefits of a healthcare system where the right patient gets the right kind of care.

Value-based care can save patients a lot of money. Putting aside the historical projections of healthcare inflation, the U.S. is also facing major epidemics of chronic, non-communicative diseases like diabetes, high-blood pressure, and cancer. It is no secret that many of these ailments are preventable with timely intervention and/or the correct behavior. Value-based care creates an environment where doctors can help patients to avoid these diseases by intervening at the right time. A doctor would identify the right patient to design a prevention plan before a disease can manifest where things become more complicated and expensive.

Once the right patient, a patient with a high risk of developing a chronic illness, has been identified, the doctor would be encouraged to spend more time with her, teaching her to take better care of herself so that complications can be avoided. There would be a reward system for identifying the right patient and taking timely preventative measures. It would also result in higher patient satisfaction.

A value-based care system would also lower drug costs. Historically, manufacturers decide the price of their medications without taking into consideration the value that a particular drug has in terms of its effectiveness and overall patient wellbeing. A value-based system would also encourage the development of personalized medicine where treatment plans and even pharmaceuticals can be tailored to specific patient needs.

The backbone of the value-based care system would be patient identification and data mining. Many are already demonstrating why medicine should incorporate more data-based modeling to augment physician decision-making.  Data mining helps doctors and the healthcare industry as a whole to better understand the outcomes of various therapeutic approaches. Ultimately, it can help to create the right kind of individualized solution for the right patient.

Unfortunately, realizing optimal results from data mining and value-based care has its challenges, especially as healthcare organizations start mining data that has been accumulated over long periods of time. On average, at least 8% of hospital patient records consist of duplicate data. Thus, an intelligent way to sort out these duplications and identify the right patient is desperately needed.

It is stated that value-based care is about the right patient getting the “right care, in the right place and at the right time.” Instead, the maxim should be, “RightPatient® enables the right care, in the right place, at the right time.”

RightPatient® guarantees that a patient medical record is never mixed up with another record and the hospital ecosystem will always recognize the patient with the help of cognitive vision. Mistakes from common patient names, fraud, human error and other issues are always prevented.

As we all know, chains are only as strong as their weakest link. In many hospitals or medical institutions, there is an urgent need to strengthen this weakest link throughout the entire system – overcoming the errors of false identity and data duplication with RightPatient. Only then can the benefits of value-based care and data mining be fully realized.


Leaders of healthcare gather in Chicago for Becker’s Hospital Review Conference

Just as the cooler weather finally emerges in hot & sunny Silicon Valley, I was summoned to attend the Becker’s Health IT and Revenue Cycle Conference in the windy city of Chicago. Downtown Chicago is definitely one of the most beautiful destinations – I was excited. Mike (the co-founder) found a great apartment with the Airbnb app – a high-rise tower right next to the Whole Foods market and within walking distance to the venue for this year’s conference. I arrived a bit late that evening and most restaurants were closed by the time I was ready for some self-indulgence. So, I reluctantly grabbed some salad at a nearby sports bar and decided to enjoy the mesmerizing Chicago skyline as I walked back home – a great start.


Our booth setup was nice, although we wondered why some smaller sponsors got a better booth space than we did. We were shoved in the middle of many random companies when a bronze sponsor (and a “competitor”) was enjoying one of the most amazing locations – the benefits of the “circle of friendship,” I guess!

After learning a bit about how RightPatient prevents duplicate medical records and eliminates chart corrections in different EHR systems (just one of our many benefits), Walter R. Houlihan, the Senior Director of Health Information Management at Baystate Health spontaneously uttered, “yeah, I see the duplicates and record mix-ups all the time. My team is the one that fixes them.” Baystate Health needs our biometric patient ID product – please buy it!


Bob LaFollette, COO and Senior Administrator of Urology from OSU

Another visitor, Bob LaFollette, COO and Senior Administrator of Urology from OSU was a charming and interesting individual. His first question to us was, “Guess what OSU stands for?” Between guesses of Oregon State University, Oklahoma State University and so on, we were corrected with the right answer – Ohio State University. He got a kick out of it!  Besides the fun and warm conversations, Bob was absolutely ecstatic with hearing how RightPatient helps with patient safety and how we automatically add patient photos into medical records. If Bob was the decision maker, I bet it would have been awesome for us.




Towards the end of the second day, I made an effort to go around and meet other companies. I have never seen so many Revenue Cycle companies all in one place – looks like money collection is the game in healthcare! There was even a company that helps to collect & recover money from international patients! I couldn’t even begin to imagine what tactics and strategies they follow in certain countries but it can’t be anything better than tactics used by the bounty hunter. Another interesting company was called Zero Gravity. Their feature product on display was an LED-based anti-aging facial rejuvenation system. People had lined up for a free session – why not? It’s free.


There were some awesome presentations, discussion, and workshops – I only attended one session by Ms. Murphy of the University of Chicago School of Medicine. It was amazing and I will write a separate post all about it. It was also great seeing the CrossChx team – once rivals, now we work together very closely. They focus on their Olive AI product while we provide biometric patient ID even to their clients.


To top off a great weekend, as we were preparing to wrap up, the boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard emerges seemingly out of nowhere to take pictures with everyone. Well, a great way to end the show with a lasting memory of the charming champion!


accurate biometric patient identification helps improve patient data integrity.

Uniting Accurate Patient Identification with Secure Single Sign-On (SSO) to Improve Data Integrity in Healthcare

accurate biometric patient identification helps improve patient data integrity.

Today we announced a new strategic alliance with Healthcast, Inc. to bring biometric patient ID and single sign-on (SSO) technology to healthcare.

One of the biggest obstacles facing the healthcare industry is ensuring high levels of patient data integrity. As computerization of health information continues and the scope of health information organizational exchange expands into health information exchanges (HIEs), and integrated delivery networks (IDNs), maintaining the integrity and completeness of health data is paramount yet much more complicated and challenging. The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recently stated that:

“The overarching goal of HIEs is to allow authorized users to quickly and accurately exchange health information to enhance patient safety and improve efficiency. Achieving this goal is dependent on the ability to link (match) multiple, disparate records relating to a single individual.” (Insuring Data Integrity in Health Data Exchange, AHIMA Resources, 2012)

Achieving high levels of patient data integrity in healthcare is largely contingent upon establishing accurate patient identification — a complex process due to the absence of any standardized patient identification credentials and a lack of consistency on how patient identification information is collected. Implementing a secure patient identification system should be the precursor to any patient data integrity improvement strategy, one that has the ubiquity for use at ANY patient touchpoint (e.g. portals, mHealth, and kiosks) and has the power to prevent duplicate medical records and fraud which can quickly poison an electronic health record database and create a host of “dirty data.”

Coupled with the importance of deploying a modern patient identification system is the urgency to establish stricter single sign-on (SSO) security protocols for access to personal health information (PHI) from clinicians or any staff authorized to view this data. Healthcare data breaches continue to pose a tremendous strain on the industry, recently highlighted in The Ponemon Institute’s 2015 2nd Annual Data Breach forecast which states:

Healthcare organizations face the challenge of securing a significant amount of sensitive information stored on their network, which combined with the value of a medical identity string makes them an attractive target for cybercriminals.” (2015 Second Annual Data Breach Industry Forecast, The Ponemon Institute, 2015)

A logical first step for any healthcare provider is to implement stronger SSO technology to simplify and secure access to PHI that helps deter fraud, prevent duplicate medical records, and increase operational efficiencies.

In an effort to help introduce and increase adoption of arguably the two most important components that will improve patient data integrity for any healthcare organization, today we announced a new strategic alliance with Healthcast — joining forces to offer our best-of-breed biometric patient identification solution with their #1 ranked single sign-on solution (KLAS, 2014) to increase patient safety and secure access to patient data.

Read more about the news here

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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