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Dealing with Claim Denials in Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare providers have always been under a lot of pressure. Patient mix-ups, identity theft cases, denied claims, medical record errors, data breaches, and patient safety incidents are just a few examples of the challenges. However, all of these issues were more visible than ever with COVID-19. Claim denials were one of the most difficult challenges, as there were more patients in need of healthcare services during the pandemic’s peak. Both healthcare providers and payers were (and still be) at odds over denied claims, and the situation will only worsen as rules and regulations change. While hospitals are already suffering from massive losses, refused claims exacerbate the situation. That being said, let’s take a look at a few strategies for dealing with claim denials in healthcare facilities.

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Strategies that can help reduce claim denials in healthcare

Provide training to the coding team

Coding errors are one of the most regular reasons for claim denials in healthcare facilities. For example, suppose a patient came in and requested healthcare services; the latter has a unique code. However, the coding team utilized the incorrect code, and when the payer inspects the claim, it is classified as denial because the incorrect code was used.

To avoid such errors, healthcare providers must train the coding team on topics such as common coding errors, coding do’s and don’ts, recent updates, and so on.

Ensure that physicians record information correctly

A lack of proper clinical documentation is another factor that contributes to claim denials in healthcare. The coding team is not responsible for every denied claim. When clinical documentation problems occur, wrong codes are almost always selected, resulting in denied claims.

As a result, healthcare providers must guarantee that physicians properly and timely record all paperwork in suitable medical records. RightPatient can aid in the proper identification of medical records and the reduction of denied claims.

Ensure that claims are submitted timely

Another reason contributing to denied claims is the failure to submit them on time, which can be easily rectified. Healthcare providers should set goals for their coding teams in order for them to process claims in a fast and accurate manner. They should, for example, categorize which batch of claims will be delivered and when they should be sent and check for errors.

While this does not always succeed, detecting the issues that cause late submissions can assist providers in addressing the issue and reducing future claim denials.

Ensure accurate patient identification to reduce denials in healthcare

One common cause of denials in healthcare facilities is medical record errors such as duplication and overlays, the majority of which result in mix-ups, improper treatment, and, predictably, billing and coding issues. The majority of medical record errors arise because there is no standardized patient identification in the US healthcare system.

While many healthcare providers waited for a standardized and effective patient identifier while dealing with duplication and denied claims, forward-thinking health systems already prevent them with RightPatient.

RightPatient is a touchless biometric patient identification platform used by top healthcare organizations such as Terrebonne General Medical Center, Duke Health, Community Medical Centers, and University Hospital. RightPatient uses one of the most secure, sanitary, and non-transferable properties of patients: their faces.

During registration, patients must look at the camera; RightPatient takes a snapshot and compares it to existing medical information to identify duplication. If no matches are identified, a new EHR is created with the patient’s photo attached. Whenever the patient comes to the hospital for additional healthcare services, they only need to look at the camera, And RightPatient generates the necessary medical record in seconds.

RightPatient isn’t just for registration; healthcare providers can use the platform throughout the care continuum. After scheduling sessions, remote patients can send selfie photographs as well as a photo of their ID card. RightPatient examines the photographs for a match, then searches to see if there are any existing records, and either produces new credentials for new patients or sends the proper EHR to the hospital for existing patients.

RightPatient not only makes accurate patient identification simple, but it’s also safe, secure, clean, and seamless. Healthcare providers may smoothly link RightPatient with their EHR systems, making the latter part of the EHR workflow.

Using RightPatient, some prominent healthcare providers reduce patient misidentification, eliminate duplicate medical records, minimize denied claims, and enhance patient safety and quality.

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Common Reasons for Patient Identification Errors in Hospitals and How to Solve Them

Positive patient identification is an important but underappreciated component of the US healthcare system. Healthcare providers maintain patient safety, appropriate medical treatment, and good healthcare results by precisely identifying patients and using their relevant electronic health information. For instance, the physicians know of the patient’s comprehensive medical history, the revenue cycle team knows which claims to submit to the insurer, and the hospital records the patient’s information in the appropriate EHR. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case; patient identification errors in hospitals are all too common and can generate a slew of issues for healthcare providers, patients, and insurance companies.

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Patient identification errors in hospitals generate a variety of issues, including:

  • Patient safety issues
  • Patient data integrity failure
  • Patient mix-ups
  • Medical record errors like duplicates and overlays
  • Denied claims
  • Detrimental patient experience 
  • Medication administration errors
  • Financial and legal issues

While those are some of the issues created by patient misidentification, let’s look at some of the common reasons why they happen in the first place, as well as how a touchless biometric patient identification platform like RightPatient ensures positive patient identification.

Common reasons for patient identification errors in hospitals

Patient misidentification during registration

In hospitals, patient misidentification is most common during registration. Patients are wrongly identified and linked to the incorrect EHRs from the start during the registration procedure. As a result, the patient will receive ineffective care because the physicians will be relying on someone else’s medical history.

The patient’s EHR is difficult to find

The registration areas are arguably high-pressure situations, as patients are constantly arriving, and a limited number of workers are required to process them for treatment. However, when the registrar examines the EHR system, they may discover that no medical records match the patient. At times, registrars may detect that too many EHRs correspond to the patient. In these instances, registrars must select an EHR, and the chances are that they will select the erroneous one, resulting in improper patient identification.

Reducing patient waiting times

As previously said, any given healthcare provider’s registration area is quite hectic. Patients are begging for treatment, and registrars are under intense pressure to shorten patient wait times. Because there is no standardized precise patient identifier in place, searching for the relevant medical records can take a long time. Because the EHR system contains tens of thousands of medical records, the registrar may wind up picking the incorrect medical record.

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Existing duplicate medical records 

This may appear perplexing, but patient identification errors in hospitals and medical record errors are inextricably linked; the other will follow naturally if one occurs.

Patient identification, for example, occurs when an incorrect medical record is picked. When the registrar searches the EHR system and finds no EHRs with the patient’s name, they create a new medical record. However, due to a lack of definite patient identification, the patient’s genuine medical record could not be identified, resulting in a new duplicate medical record.

Similarly, duplicate medical records within the EHR system are bound to induce patient misidentification because all of the records are inconsistent and fragmented, resulting in patient safety issues, incorrect treatment, and worse.

Human errors

Human error is another prominent cause of patient misidentification in hospitals. While registrars, nurses, and other healthcare workers already work in a high-stress environment, a single typing error can force them to select the wrong EHR.

Patients themselves submit false, wrong, or incomplete

Patient misidentification in hospitals happens when patients offer insufficient or incorrect information to medical employees. For example, a patient’s medical record is maintained with the name “William Smith,” yet he gives the registrar the name “Bill Smith.” The registrar will search for his medical record using the keyword “Bill Smith,” which will not yield the genuine EHR.

On the other hand, patients falsify information to obtain treatment in the name of someone else. It’s nearly impossible to identify the falsehood because healthcare providers don’t employ a reliable patient identification system throughout the states.

RightPatient can prevent all of the above and more.

RightPatient prevents patient identification errors in hospitals

RightPatient is a touchless biometric patient identification platform that accurately identifies patients across the treatment continuum. During the registration process, the platform captures patients’ photographs and ties them to the proper EHRs, effectively locking the medical records. When the patients return, the platform must authenticate their identities – the patients only need to glance at the camera – it’s that simple!

RightPatient enhances patient safety, minimizes denied claims, strengthens patient data integrity, and ensures that the proper patient is receiving the right treatment at all times.

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How Patient Safety and Quality in Healthcare Can be Improved With Positive Patient ID

While COVID-19 has been arguably the most talked-about issue over the past few years, it’s not the only problem that healthcare providers face. Even now, a plethora of problems continues to plague the US healthcare system. Duplicate medical records, overlays, medical identity theft, lack of proper patient identification, labor shortages, massive financial losses, and infection control issues are just some of them. While not all of these factors are solvable by the hospitals themselves, ensuring positive patient identification can help reduce many significant problems. With that being said, today, we’ll be considering how effective patient identification can improve patient safety and quality. 

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Five ways that patient identification improves patient safety and quality

It ensures patient data integrity 

One significant issue that healthcare providers face in the US is the lack of data integrity in medical records or EHRs, which can often be traced back to patient misidentification. It’s pretty simple: if a patient has more than one EHR, their medical history, allergies, medications, vitals, etc., will be spread across several different medical records.

There are thousands of fragmented EHRs like these. As such, the patient will receive treatments based on a highly fragmented EHR; it doesn’t provide the complete collection of patient information. As a result, treatments may be inaccurate or less effective. However, there’s an even more severe scenario. In cases where there’s a lack of accurate patient identification, hospitals could use one of these EHRs to treat the wrong patient! 

The presence of positive patient identification, on the other hand, ensures patient data integrity at all times since patients are treated using accurate EHRs whenever they come in. This remains true both for virtual and inpatient visits.

It ensures positive patient outcomes

Positive patient identification ensures that accurate EHRs are associated with the correct patients across the care continuum. Doing so helps the patients receive the best possible treatment plans and care without inaccuracies, helping them recover without any unwanted incidents, thereby enhancing patient safety and quality in the process.

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Patients can receive the wrong treatment without accurate patient identification since they’re associated with incorrect medical records, which can lead to dangerous and adverse incidents. 

It reduces medical record errors

One of the biggest problems caused by patient misidentification is that it leads to medical record errors, such as duplicates and overlays. Naturally, these can be detrimental to patient outcomes. Imagine a scenario whereby a patient has multiple EHR documents; if just one of those records is used to treat them, the treatment plan would be based on incomplete information, hence leading to ineffective treatment. On the other hand, overlays are even more dangerous; these are merged EHRs, but they often belong to different patients! Whichever patient gets treated using such an inaccurate EHR record could naturally face detrimental and wrong treatments down the line unless it’s detected and resolved quickly.

Fortunately, accurate patient identification prevents medical record errors right off the bat. Ensuring that accurate EHRs are used every time that patients come in for an appointment helps avoid the creation of duplicates and overlays, thereby saving considerable costs for the hospital and improving patient safety and quality of care overall. 

It avoids mixups

Patient mix-ups can be hazardous and can even lead to the wrong patient getting the treatment or surgery intended for another. It might sound like a basic mistake that would never happen, but in reality, such an event has happened numerous times where the wrong patient received kidney transplant surgery.

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One of the most common reasons for this is because patients had similar names and characteristics on their EHRs, which can easily lead to mixups, especially in high-pressure environments. In other cases, the wrong patient may have received chemotherapy that was assigned to a different patient for lifesaving treatment. Meanwhile, patients receiving the wrong medication and so on are potentially common risks due to mixups and mistakes.

Most of these mixups can be traced back to – you guessed it – patient misidentification. As such, ensuring positive patient identification is one of the most effective ways for hospitals to prevent these mixups and avoid jeopardizing patient safety overall.

It boosts infection control efforts

It might seem a little unclear as to how accurate patient identification can help boost infection control issues? Well, integrating a touchless patient identification platform such RightPatient helps with that. RightPatient doesn’t just ensure that the patients are identified correctly across the care continuum, but it also ensures that this care is provided hygienically.

Patients only need to look at the camera for registration; the platform captures a photo and attaches it to their EHRs, essentially locking them. Whenever patients come in for subsequent visits, all they need to do is look at the camera, and the platform automatically matches the current photo with the saved one.

RightPatient is already helping several healthcare providers ensure accurate patient identification, improve patient safety, and bolster infection control efforts effectively. As such, it could be a valuable tool to implement for your own healthcare facility’s management systems, too; why not give it a try?

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Accurate Patient Identification Tops 2022’s Patient Safety Goals

There is a lot going on in the U.S. healthcare industry right now. While some might argue that the industry has always been a dynamic field, which is true, it’s safe to say that the pandemic has pushed healthcare into overdrive. While healthcare data breaches, increased hospitalizations, vaccine booster shots, and oral pills to tackle COVID-19 dominate the news, the Joint Commission has announced next year’s National Patient Safety Goals applicable beginning January 1, 2022.

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Unsurprisingly, again in 2022, the number one priority for improving patient safety, as per the Joint Commission, is identifying patients accurately. This highlights the importance of positive patient identification, which we’ve been promoting for a long time. That being said, let’s take a look at the top patient safety goals for 2022, why patient identification has been a topmost priority for years, and how RightPatient can effectively help meet those goals.

What are patient safety goals?

Every year, the Joint Commission collects information on patient safety issues that plague hospitals, health systems, and other healthcare facilities. After collecting all the data via credible sources and experts, the Joint Commission releases a list of goals that healthcare facilities need to implement in order to improve patient safety.

As healthcare is quite broad, the Joint Commission has divided it into chapters such as Ambulatory Health Care Chapter, Assisted Living Community Chapter, Behavioral Health Care & Human Services Chapter, Hospital Chapter, Home Care Chapter, etc. However, in all nine chapters, the number one goal is to identify patients correctly (residents in the case of Nursing Care Centers). This shows how imperative proper patient identification is as it’s the top priority in all the chapters.

That being said, let’s look at next year’s goals for the Hospital Chapter, as that’s our primary focus. 

2022’s patient safety goals for hospitals 

Next year, according to the Joint Commission, healthcare providers need to focus on the following goals to improve patient safety at their facilities:

  • Accurate patient identification 
  • Improving staff communication
  • Using medicine safely
  • Using alarms on medical equipment
  • Infection prevention
  • Identifying patient safety risks
  • Preventing errors in surgeries

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Comparing them with the goals for 2021, there hasn’t been any significant change in the goals or their order. But why is patient identification always the topmost goal? 

Accurate patient identification has been a priority for years

Patient misidentification isn’t anything new. Since there was a ban on creating a state-funded patient identifier around two decades ago, patient identification errors have been quite common. To this very day, a standardized and effective patient identifier doesn’t exist. Since misidentification has led to duplicate medical records, overlays, and medical record mix-ups, they have also created medication administration errors, repeated lab tests, patient data integrity failure, delays in care, transplant mix-ups, and even deaths! As a result, patient misidentification quickly became a patient safety concern. 

Every year, healthcare experts come together and demand that the ban against a state-funded patient identifier is lifted. However, to this very day, the ban on the unique patient identifier is in effect.

While different healthcare providers use various methods, solutions, and strategies for accurate patient identification, a touchless biometric patient identification platform like RightPatient is the most ideal and future-proof platform for that. In fact, RightPatient also helps with a few of the other patient safety goals – let’s explore how.

RightPatient helps improve patient safety in several ways

RightPatient is helping several leading healthcare providers enhance patient safety by protecting patient medical records, ensuring accurate patient identification, and reducing infection control issues. It captures patient photos during the registration process and attaches them to EHRs. 

For subsequent visits, returning patients only need to look at the camera for verification. RightPatient compares the live photo with the saved one and provides accurate EHRs, preventing mix-ups, duplicates, and other problems associated with misidentification. 

RightPatient can be used for remote authentication as well – patients need to provide a selfie along with the photo of their driver’s license after scheduling appointments. RightPatient compares the images, and after a successful match, provides the patients with biometric credentials – check out the video to learn more about it.

RightPatient helps with several patient safety goals: 

  • It ensures accurate patient identification
  • It prevents errors in surgeries by preventing patient mix-ups
  • It reduces infection control issues (it’s a touchless experience for both patients and caregivers)
  • It improves staff communication as redundant lab tests, mix-ups, and delays are reduced 
  • It reduces medication administration errors

How are you planning to improve patient safety at your healthcare facilities, and does the strategy include a solution that solves several problems simultaneously as RightPatient does?

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Patient Safety Improvement in Hospitals with 5 Strategies

Patient safety is one of the key components that is crucial for preventing patient harm, ensuring proper healthcare outcomes, and reducing redundant costs for healthcare providers. Without it, adverse events lead to patients receiving the wrong care, and according to WHO, one in ten patients is harmed while receiving healthcare services. Fortunately, half of these adverse events are preventable – let’s take a look at some patient safety improvement strategies that can help with that. 

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5 strategies for patient safety improvement

Nurture a patient safety-focused culture

One of the best patient safety improvement strategies is to foster a culture that focuses heavily on improving patient care. All employees, from the janitors to the decision-makers, must be a part of the culture and focus on patient safety and quality healthcare more than anything else. In fact, healthcare providers that aren’t fostering such patient-centered cultures are struggling with adverse events, medication errors, and worse. For instance, physicians must focus on patients themselves rather than their medical records and involve them in the decision-making process. This way, they can get better insights into the patient’s ailments to help them identify the problems in a more reliable manner.

Identify and work on mistakes

Rather than only acknowledging the mistakes that lead to patient safety incidents, working towards preventing future incidents is a much more sensible strategy. What’s even better is identifying the issues before they happen and preventing them. For instance, there are different solutions available that can help identify potential issues and address them effectively. In the case of mistakes that already took place, identifying why they occurred and coming up with strategies that can prevent future occurrences is the tried and tested solution. 

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Reduce chances for human error

While technology is evolving rapidly, most healthcare providers, unfortunately, are still stuck with ancient processes and manual methods. This leaves room for human error, something that can jeopardize patient safety in hospitals significantly. For instance, if paper is used for recording medicine administration, handwriting or common names can lead to mix-ups, leading to an adverse impact on healthcare outcomes. On the other hand, if digital solutions are used, then not only will it speed up the process, but it will also make it more reliable and safe (especially if patient photos are used for identification). This is just a simple example, but reducing chances for human error ensures patient safety improvement across the care continuum.

Ensure a clean environment and enforce hygiene rules

While many might have forgotten that we’re still going through a pandemic, hospitals and health systems must ensure that they are providing a safe environment for everyone involved. Not only must hospitals ensure that they keep their facilities clean, but they also need to ensure that everyone in the facilities is complying with safety rules such as wearing masks and maintaining distance. All of this leads towards reducing HAIs (hospital-acquired infections), improving patient safety in the process. 

Ensure accurate patient identification

One of the topmost patient safety goals for many years has been improving the accuracy of patient identification, and according to the Joint Commission, it will once again be the number 1 goal for 2022. This just shows how important accurate patent identification is for patient safety improvement. 

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The problem is that patient misidentification leads to a number of issues – duplicate medical records, patient record mix-ups, wrong treatment, and even medical identity theft. All of these lead to adverse healthcare outcomes, hospital readmissions, and even deaths. 

Fortunately, accurate patient identification IS possible – hospitals that have been using RightPatient are protecting millions of patient records and improving patient safety. 

RightPatient is a touchless biometric patient identification platform that essentially locks medical records during the registration process with patient photos. Registered patients only need to look at the camera when they revisit hospitals – RightPatient compares the photos and provides the accurate medical records for use, preventing duplicates, overlays, and medical errors. Moreover, it also helps prevent HAIs as it’s entirely touchless – improving patient safety on two fronts. 

How are YOU improving patient safety at your hospital(s)?

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Why is Patient Safety Important and How Can RightPatient Help?

Ensuring and improving patient safety has always been important in the U.S. healthcare system. However, as we’re living in a pandemic, it is more important than ever now. As many hospitals have reopened, and others are planning to do so, most of them are concerned about keeping incoming patients safe and preventing any new COVID-19 outbreaks. Patient safety can be ensured with a number of strategies, including improving accurate patient identification, ensuring patient data integrity, and ensuring infection control – more on this later. That being said, let’s take a look at why is patient safety important now more than ever, what are the benefits, and how hospitals and health systems can improve patient safety with RightPatient – creating a safe environment for patients and caregivers.

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COVID-19 has changed the landscape

Most people would agree that COVID-19 has changed everything. Not only has it affected our daily lives, but it has changed the way we work, the way we socialize, and the way we receive healthcare. To examine how COVID-19 has changed everything for hospitals, let’s take a look at a simple example. 

Patient safety in hospitals and healthcare systems can be ensured in several ways – one of which is ensuring proper infection control. In the pre-pandemic period, only healthcare providers were concerned about infection control issues – it wasn’t a concern for the majority of patients. However, the pandemic has taught everyone a lot – social distancing, wearing PPE, sanitizing frequently, and so on. Quite naturally, all patients are concerned about infection control in hospitals now.

Earlier, when coming to hospitals, patients weren’t much concerned about catching viruses. Now, patients need to think twice before coming to hospitals and most of them typically come with as much protection as possible. Their concerns are quite valid too – what if a COVID-19 positive patient was in the vicinity, or what if the patient touched a surface? 

That was just a simple example, but it provides a version of an answer as to why is patient safety important, especially now. Hospitals and health systems have the challenging task of keeping patients safe while ensuring them that they’re taking the most stringent measures to provide a safe environment for everyone in the facility. Otherwise, patient safety incidents could lead to patient harm, disability, and even deaths!

That being said, let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of ensuring patient safety within healthcare facilities.

The benefits that show why is patient safety important

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It prevents patient harm

Quite naturally, ensuring patient safety helps improve patient outcomes – they are simply getting the appropriate treatment plan that fits their ailments. Many cases have occurred where the patient wrongly receives the treatment that’s meant for someone else – leading to hospital readmissions, adverse effects, and worse. Improving patient safety ensures that high-quality care is provided to all the patients every time they interact with the healthcare provider. 

It prevents medication administration errors

A huge concern of patient safety advocates is patients getting the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage – the results can be catastrophic! Using medication management protocols and accurate patient identification whenever necessary, nurses and therapists can easily confirm what dosage and which medications are required by the patients and at what times – improving patient safety. 

It prevents infection control issues

As mentioned above, one of the patient safety concerns is infection control. Having a strict hygiene policy isn’t enough anymore – hospitals need to screen their patients strictly whenever one comes in to see whether they’re showing symptoms of COVID-19. However, doing it properly not only prevents the spread of the notorious virus but also other lesser-known infections within the healthcare facility. Otherwise, the spread will lead to other patients becoming sicker in the process. 

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It reduces costs

Preventing patient safety incidents saves numerous costs – costs that arise from patient harm, litigation costs, denied claims, patient misidentification, medication administration errors, and more. All of this, when summed up, becomes a large amount of money for any given hospital or health system, and given the pandemic’s pressure on healthcare providers, they need to reduce costs as much as possible. 

Fortunately, RightPatient knows why is patient safety important, and it helps to improve it in several ways. 

RightPatient boosts patient safety efforts

RightPatient is a touchless biometric patient identification platform that’s already deployed at several hospitals and health systems and is protecting millions of patient records – improving patient safety in the process. 

For registration, patients only need to look at the camera when they come in for in-person hospital visits, making it a touchless, hygienic, and safe experience – preventing infection control concerns and improving safety. 

Remote patients receive a link via an SMS to provide their photos after they schedule appointments. New patients need to provide a photo of their driver’s license along with a selfie for registration. RightPatient runs a search to see if the photos match and provides credentials to the new remote patients. 

RightPatient not only ensures a contactless and hygienic experience, but it also ensures that the correct information is fed to the appropriate EHR – preventing medication errors, mix-ups, or duplicates. It even prevents medical identity theft as fraudsters will be identified once they try to go through the verification process. 

RightPatient knows why patient safety is important, which is why it helps to improve it on several fronts. How are YOU ensuring patient safety at your healthcare facility?

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RightPatient Partners with Harris Healthcare to Secure and Maintain EMPI Data Integrity

Very recently, RightPatient and Harris Healthcare’s DIS (Data Integrity Solutions) Business Unit have announced a strategic partnership to tackle patient data integrity issues by ensuring accurate patient identification. 

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Harris DIS includes QuadraMed, which focuses on EMPI management and data cleanups, and Just Associates, focused on helping hospitals and health systems achieve and maintain a highly accurate and quality MPI. QuadraMed provides end-to-end patient identity management to prevent duplicate medical records and dirty patient data to improve patient data integrity. From data analysis to cleanups, Just Associates performs the critical tasks necessary for a pristine MPI. Its state-of-the-art suite of identity management solutions and services includes continuous duplicate detection (IDSentry™), ongoing MPI management (IDManage™), and customized MPI clean-up services (IDResolve™).

By using the RightPatient Integrity Platform with Harris DIS’ existing solutions, patient identity management will be much more secure, accurate, and efficient. The collaboration provides important protections against front-end contamination of the MPI and EMPI and helps eliminate patient misidentification and safety issues created by “dirty” patient identification data. 

The problem of patient misidentification and dirty patient data

Several factors cause front-end contamination and dirty patient data within an MPI or EMPI, such as frequent flyers, medical identity theft, and duplicate medical records. There may even be duplicate records that have very limited or contrasting information.

RightPatient Integrity Platform incorporates patient photos into the Quadramed SmartID platform, helping identify and resolve these challenging duplicate records that were created from cases of alias or stolen identities. This helps reduce new duplicate and overlaid medical records right from the start, while Just Associates focuses on creating and maintaining a pristine MPI/EMPI environment and supporting rapid and accurate patient identification. 

RightPatient advances Harris DIS’ ability to address key health information issues by reducing the volume of potential duplicate medical records, preventing patient misidentification, enhancing patient safety, and ensuring patient data integrity across the care continuum. Doing so is more important than ever as remote patient registrations have increased due to COVID-19. 

RightPatient and Harris DIS’ partnership aims to improve the overall efficacy of medical data clean-ups and ongoing data integrity efforts with RightPatient’s robust de-duplication engine. It secures patient information and minimizes the ongoing cost of maintaining quality patient data. 

How RightPatient and Harris DIS improve patient identity management

Typically, an EMPI contains patient information from a health system’s several facilities such as labs, hospitals, physician practices, and pharmacies. Front-end contamination is common if positive patient identification isn’t ensured during the registration process. This later leads to dirty patient data, duplicates, overlays, patient safety incidents, write-offs, and more. 

RightPatient and Harris DIS can address and solve patient misidentification right off the bat using patient photos.

During the registration process, hospitals collect the patient information along with their photos. The MPI data is then sent to QuadraMed for analysis and cleaning, after which RightPatient Integrity Platform receives a copy of the patient photos along with the corresponding MRNs (medical record numbers). Using RightPatient’s powerful photo-matching engine, the patient photos are deduplicated to bolster overall system analytics.

RightPatient Integrity Platform with Harris DIS can be used for:

  • Existing EMPI data cleanup projects
  • Identifying duplicates during the registration process
  • Hospitals that are starting to capture patient photos

The impact of effective patient identity management

RightPatient’s leading touchless patient identification platform is being utilized by numerous healthcare providers to identify their patients safely, reliably, and effectively.

During the registration process at hospitals and healthcare facilities, patients just look at the camera and the platform takes a photo and attaches it to the medical record. During remote registrations, patients receive an SMS after which they provide a selfie and a photo of their driver’s license. The platform then searches for a match between the two photos and assigns biometric credentials to new patients.

The same expertise comes with the RightPatient Integrity Platform which can be seamlessly integrated with any EHR, including QuadraMed’s SmartID Platform. This enables healthcare providers to:

  • Prevent duplicate and overlaid medical records during registration
  • Ensure remote patient photo capture and authentication
  • Bolster de-duplication and EMPI data cleanup efforts
  • Ensure clean patient data across the care continuum
  • Improve patient safety and prevent medical errors
  • Reduce write-offs and denied claims
  • Prevent cases of identity theft and “frequent flyers”
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Securing Healthcare Data Must Be a Priority as COVID Cases Postpone In-Person Visits

Unfortunately, the pandemic rages on. COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are increasing and the number this year has already surpassed last year’s figures, according to John Hopkins University. It’s sad to say that the numbers this year will increase further, with new variants, debates regarding masks and social distancing, and individuals who have not been unvaccinated. Healthcare providers are having to return to stricter protocols to try to reduce the number of cases, and many are canceling visits, postponing nonemergency procedures, running out of capacity, and are, once again, opting for virtual healthcare. That being said, let’s take a closer look at the situation, what some hospitals are going through, and why securing healthcare data is crucial during both virtual and in-person visits.

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Idaho is facing a huge challenge due to COVID cases

This isn’t a surprise – many hospitals in different states are facing the same scenario due to COVID-19 spikes. For instance, health systems like Saint Alphonsus and St. Luke’s in Idaho have already paused non-emergency procedures.

The reason is quite simple – they are running at full capacity, seeing far more COVID-19 hospitalizations, and are being forced to reallocate resources to serve COVID-19 patients. In fact, COVID-19 daily hospitalization rates have gone up 35%, and it looks like more hospitals and health systems will have to follow the same rules.

The state has already entered a “Crisis Standards of Care” which was enacted as there’s a shortage of healthcare staff as well as beds, the latter because of a surge in COVID-19 patients. 

Experts are even predicting up to 30,000 COVID-19 cases per week within the state, starting mid-September! 

Within all the chaos, securing healthcare data to ensure accurate patient identification and sending reports to accurate personnel is a must. 

Other states are also witnessing similar COVID-19 surges, such as Georgia and parts of California, leading to capacity constraints, postponed non-emergency procedures, and stricter visitation guidelines. 

Telehealth might be the answer, as long as it protects healthcare data

Most hospitals will opt for offering virtual care again – it has already shown its capabilities in treating non-critical patients without risking anyone getting infected with COVID-19.

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While telehealth has a huge number of supporters now, experts worry about a number of issues. One of the biggest concerns is that, just like in-person visits, telehealth might result in medical identity theft cases.

Securing healthcare data during both in-person visits as well as virtual ones, thus, becomes a huge concern. Fortunately, RightPatient is more than up for the challenge.

Securing healthcare data is possible with RightPatient

RightPatient is the leading touchless patient ID platform and several healthcare providers trust it to protect millions of patient records. 

By ensuring proper patient identification, RightPatient ensures that the EHR is used for the appropriate patient – preventing mix-ups, duplicates, and medical identity theft.

For in-person visits, the patient just needs to look at the camera for registration. RightPatient takes a photo and attaches it to the patient’s EHR – these can’t be accessed by fraudsters. For instance, if a fraudster tries to access services, RightPatient will identify that the person’s face doesn’t match with the saved photo – red-flagging the individual and preventing medical identity theft in real-time. 

For telehealth sessions, after patients schedule appointments, they will receive an SMS. They will need to provide a selfie along with the photo of their driver’s license – RightPatient will automatically compare the photos, and upon matching, create biometric credentials for the new patients and validate registered ones. In this case as well, if the platform identifies discrepancies, it will red flag the individual, preventing them from tampering with the EHRs, securing healthcare data, and preventing medical identity theft in the process. 

RightPatient is the future of patient identification

Whether it’s online visits or in-person visits, hospitals and health systems must protect patient data, improve patient safety, and prevent identity theft. While several caregivers such as Terrebonne General Medical Center, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, and University Health Care System are already using RightPatient to protect their patients, many caregivers are still using ancient methods to identify patients – putting them at risk.

How are YOU protecting patient records and ensuring positive patient identification at your healthcare facility?

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Preventing Medical ID Theft Can Combat the Effects of Healthcare Data Breaches

We talk about a lot of healthcare topics regularly on our blog but the most common one is healthcare data breaches. That’s because hackers are targeting healthcare providers every day to steal patient information – leading to much too frequent data breaches. Unfortunately, today is no different as we take a look at some recent data breaches and how some of the hospitals are responding. However, the consequences of most data breaches, medical ID theft, CAN be mitigated with accurate patient identification, ensuring safety in healthcare facilities – more on that later.

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Healthcare data breaches update

Over 3 million patients’ information was exposed this August

It’s frightening how both the number of data breaches and patients at risk from them keep on increasing. Just last month, over 3.3 million patients’ confidential and sensitive information was exposed due to data breaches at hospitals and health systems, as per HHS’ breach portal.

Out of them, St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System identified around 1.4 million patients’ information at risk, University Medical Center of Southern Nevada saw 1.3 million, and over 637,000 patients’ information was compromised at UNM Health. 

Over 600,000 patients’ information exposed 

DuPage Medical Group identified unauthorized activity on its computer network – resulting in shutting down access to it. However, around 600,000 patients’ information was put at risk due to unauthorized activity. Information such as names, dates of birth, addresses, Social Security numbers, and diagnosis codes was exposed. As is standard with healthcare providers, the group is providing complimentary services to the affected patients. 

More than 171,000 patients at risk of being medical ID theft victims

Metro Infectious Disease Consultants, a physician group of over 100 physicians, identified that over 171,000 patients’ data was exposed due to hacker(s) breaching employee email accounts. After a thorough investigation, the physician group came up with the aforementioned number, secured the employee email accounts, and saw that names, date of birth, Social Security numbers, and medical information was exposed. It also announced that the affected patients will be offered complimentary services.

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Around 12,000 patients’ information exposed due to a phishing attack 

One of the most common methods used by hackers is phishing, and that’s how one of them hacked Revere Health and got access to around 12,000 patients’ information. To prevent it from happening further, Revere Health is sending “phishing” emails to test their employees and provide the ones who click on it with training – quite an innovative approach.

Medical ID theft is the common consequence of data breaches

Hackers can sell stolen patient information for up to $1000 in the black market, which is why it’s so lucrative for them and the reason for so many healthcare data breaches we read about every day.

Fraudsters buy these stolen patient records from the hackers and then get healthcare services using the victims’ information, but there’s more to it. 

Since the fraudsters are being “treated” using the medical records of the victims, the EHRs contain someone else’s information, rendering them corrupt, dangerous, and unusable. If these corrupt records are not prevented or detected immediately, then the actual patient will be receiving the wrong medical care – making it extremely dangerous for them. Moreover, the patients will be receiving bills for healthcare services they never got.

Healthcare providers, on the other hand, might get hit with lawsuits, not receive the payment, and face patient safety incidents.

While data breaches seem inevitable, the most common consequence (medical ID theft) can be mitigated with RightPatient – improving patient safety in the process.

RightPatient prevents medical ID theft in real-time

One of the biggest reasons why fraudsters get away with committing medical identity theft is because most hospitals and health systems cannot ensure accurate patient identification.  Fortunately, RightPatient is a touchless patient ID platform that has a vast amount of experience identifying patients accurately and can prevent medical identity theft in real-time.

During the registration process, patients only need to look at the camera – RightPatient attaches a photo of the patient with their EHR. When the fraudster arrives to access services, they’ll need to go through the same process, and since they are not the actual patient of the hospital, their EHR will not be verified. The platform will alert the registration team that the fraudster actually isn’t the patient – preventing medical identity theft in real-time.

RightPatient has been successfully preventing medical identity theft, protecting millions of patient records across different hospitals, and ensuring patient safety for years. If you want to do the same at your healthcare facility, contact us now to learn more about how we can help you.

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Electronic Medical Record Errors Are Preventable with Positive Patient Identification

We’ve been talking about several topics such as medical identity theft, duplicate medical records, COVID-19, revenue cycle management, data breaches, and more. However, the one point we keep coming back to is electronic medical record errors. This has been a cause of concern among healthcare providers and patients, but it doesn’t end there. The consequences of medical record errors extend to insurance providers, healthcare staff members, physicians, and even the patients’ family members!

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What many fail to grasp is that most of these errors are not caused by the EHR systems themselves, but are caused by external factors. One of the foremost reasons is that there’s no effective, standardized patient identifier present. This alone leads to medical record mix-ups, duplicates, and other errors – more on that later.

Let’s take a look at EHR error statistics, the consequences caused by them, and how positive patient identification can mitigate them.

Statistics regarding electronic medical record errors

A recent study focused on the frequency and types of EHR issues perceived by patients which shed light on a number of insightful statistics. Over 136,000 patients received the invitation to participate, and over 29,000 patients responded. 22,889 viewed 1 or more notes within one year. Out of these 22,889 patients, 21% (4,830) of them witnessed mistakes. Out of these 4,830 patients, 43% said that the mistakes were serious, 32.4% said that it was somewhat serious, and 9.9% said that it was very serious.

When asked about what kind of issues they saw within their EHRs, the most common response was diagnosis errors. For instance, many saw that a disease they didn’t have was listed in the EHR! Can you imagine the consequences of this? 

Others witnessed wrong medical history, medication errors, and so on.

Most of these issues, if not all of them, can be traced back to the lack of accurate patient identification – let’s see how. 

How patient misidentification creates electronic medical record errors

It’s quite simple – since there’s no effective and standardized patient identifier present in the U.S. healthcare system, EHR issues are bound to occur. An EHR system houses thousands and can even hold millions of medical records. It’s quite natural to have many patients with the same name, especially if it’s a common one.

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Now, if a patient named “James Smith” turns up, the EHR user will see that there are several medical records associated with the same name. Moreover, there’s no guarantee that the patient’s record is under the same name – it might be saved as “Jim Smith”.

Also, most EHRs provide basic search functionality, and with the registration area being a high-pressure environment, the EHR user needs to select the appropriate medical record quickly. If the hospital isn’t using an effective patient identifier, the registrar either creates an entirely new medical record or chooses the wrong one – creating the potential for medical record errors. 

While that’s how patient misidentification and electronic medical record errors are related, let’s take a look at some of the consequences.

Consequences of EHR errors and patient misidentification

EHR errors, bolstered by inaccurate patient identification:

  • Increase duplicates and overlays within the EHR system
  • Jeopardize patient safety
  • Hamper patient data integrity
  • Lead to patient record mix-ups
  • Create medication administration errors
  • Increase denied claims
  • Cause patients to go through repeated lab tests
  • Increase hospital readmissions
  • Create detrimental patient outcomes 

It’s not very surprising that patient identification errors have been occurring for a long time, and only a handful of healthcare providers have been proactive regarding preventing such issues within their facilities. These responsible healthcare providers have been using RightPatient to prevent such issues by ensuring accurate patient identification.

RightPatient ensures positive patient identification

RightPatient is the number one choice of leading healthcare providers – they’ve been using our touchless biometric patient identification platform to protect millions of patient records. 

RightPatient is easy to use and becomes a part of the EHR workflow. During registration, the platform requires patients to simply look at the camera – the platform takes a photo of the patient and essentially “locks” the EHR with it. Already registered patients then only need to look at the camera – RightPatient runs a search to match the live photo with the saved one – it’s that easy!

RightPatient has a vast amount of experience with several diverse hospitals, making it a clear choice to ensure accurate patient identification, prevent medical record errors, and more.

Are YOU preventing medical record errors successfully at your healthcare facility?