It’s important to get things right from the start within the hospital setting. The moment a new patient walks through the door the hospital assumes a degree of responsibility for their health. Much attention is given to the quality of care, and the overall cost of medicine in the United States, but there is a fundamental consideration that many people don’t think of:
Proper identification. It’s important to accurately match patients with their medical records, both for the purposes of HIPAA-protected privacy and to provide them with the best possible care. Patient identification platforms are systems that provide healthcare providers with the resources they need to accurately identify patients.
In this article, we take a look at why patient identification platforms play a vital role in the hospital admittance process.
Enhancing Patient Safety and Quality of Care
Accurate patient identification is vital in ensuring that everyone who walks into the hospital is given care that is specific both to what brought them in and their overall health history. Proper medical intervention exists on a spectrum of continuity that begins the moment a person is born.
Biometrics and other unique patient identifiers serve as a fingerprint of sorts, allowing hospitals to quickly identify everyone who comes through from there.
Once identity has been established patients benefit from:
- Reduced capacity for error: There are loads of things that can go wrong when a hospital doesn’t have the right background information on a patient. Improperly administered medication, and incorrectly applied procedures. When identity is established at the point of entry, hospitals can move forward with treatment strategies in full confidence.
- Improved continuity of care: Again, it’s the idea that a person’s healthcare journey begins the moment they are born. In a practical sense, this continuity includes everything from patient allergies to pre-existing health conditions. In other words, vital information that hospitals need to coordinate their efforts and make informed decisions.
Without this continuity, it would be all too easy for a hospital to accidentally give a patient a medication they are allergic to, or perhaps simply perform tests that are expensive and redundant.
Improving Operational Efficiency and Workflow
Beyond the benefits that patients receive, there is also simply an administrative value to knowing exactly who is being treated. Hospitals rely on efficiency to deal with their workload and deliver the highest possible level of patient care.
In a world where nurses are calling 911 to get assistance in an understaffed ER (an episode that took place not so long ago in the state of Washington), hospitals need every edge they can get to maximize their efficiency and streamline their processes.
By automating and standardizing patient identification, hospitals:
- Save time and resources: Without the benefit of a patient identification platform, hospitals are beholden to manual processes of identity verification. This can take a significant amount of effort on the part of the hospital employee, and it is also just a process subject to human error.
- Improve their workflow: Patient identification integrates with electronic record-keeping systems to establish a streamlined exchange of information. This eliminates the risk of data silos (information documented but inaccessible) and accelerates the workflow between hospital departments.
When it comes to securing the best possible patient outcomes, every second counts. Patient identification platforms quantifiably streamlined efforts and make it easier for hospital employees to do their jobs quickly and accurately.
Securing Patient Data and Protecting Privacy
Patient identification platforms have a robust set of HIPAA-compliant safety features that are designed to protect patients and their private information.
Encryption plays an important role in restricting access to sensitive information while still ensuring that people who need the data (the patient, doctors, nurses, administrators) can access it.
Data security within the world of healthcare is important for many reasons. For one thing, digital technology, though convenient, creates unique points of vulnerability that didn’t exist twenty years ago. It used to be that patient information existed only in a physical form and could be locked away, out of reach to those who weren’t supposed to have it.
In the abstract world of cloud-based technology, information is literally everywhere. HIPAA-compliant software helps to marry convenience with safety.
It also just helps to foster trust between patients and the hospitals that serve them. While this bond is hard to quantify it is a vital element in ensuring that people continue feeling comfortable using the hospitals that are there to serve them.
Patient identification platforms like RightPatient, in that sense, are the right form of innovation. They make things easier for hospitals while protecting, and indeed, enhancing, the rights of patients. For instance, RightPatient uses patient photos and attaches them to patients’ medical records during registration. Whenever a patient returns, the platform scans their photo, runs a biometric search, and provides the accurate EHR shortly – it’s that easy!