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In Your Face: The Future of Federated Patient Identification

The following guest post was written by Michael Trader, Co-Founder and President of RightPatient®

The Patient ID Problem

The recurring and complex issue of how to establish and maintain accurate patient identification in healthcare and how to establish a federated patient identity is getting a lot of attention these days. Accurate patient identification in healthcare is a topic that has always garnered attention and concern, but perhaps it has gained momentum and urgency due to the rapid digitization of the industry and the concerted push for interoperability and national health information exchange to improve individual and population health. The push for increased interoperability could make patient data matching errors and mismatches exponentially more problematic and dangerous and it is widely believed that inadequate patient identification continues to jeopardize patient safety and artificially inflate the cost of care.

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Can the use of facial recognition biometrics help establish a federated patient identity credential in healthcare?

Opinions on the most effective patient identification and patient matching strategies run the gamut. Some say standardizing patient demographic data will help, others feel that establishing a national patient identifier is the answer to the problem. What’s clear is that in the absence of any broad improvements to patient identification, the goal of establishing longitudinal patient records reflecting a patient’s experience across the care continuum, payers, geographic locations, and stages of life, will remain elusive. 

One idea that is catching on with healthcare providers to help improve patient identification in healthcare is capturing a photo during registration that is linked to a unique electronic medical record. 

Use of Patient Photos Increasing

Nearly 2.3 million people were victims of medical identity theft in 2014, according to the “Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft” released earlier this year by the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance (MIFA), an industry trade association of healthcare providers, payers and service providers – a 21% increase over the 2013 number of 1.8 million. Medical identity theft and healthcare fraud continue to be a pervasive problem throughout the industry and in the absence of a solution, the problem is only going to get worse as millions more Americans are brought into the healthcare fold through Obamacare. 

To help fight the increase in medical identity theft and to ensure a patient’s identity is accurately verified at each step along the care continuum, many healthcare facilities are capturing a patient’s photo at registration and linking that to a unique electronic medical record. The idea is an attempt to protect patient privacy, ensure accurate insurance benefits and subsequent reimbursement, and connect a face with a name, providing another option for identification besides date of birth. The idea is catching on quickly and many are embracing the use of patient photos to increase security and improve patient safety, but what often goes unrealized is the potential for a patient photo to be leveraged as a unique identification credential across the entire care continuum.

Leveraging Patient Photos for a Federated Identity Across the Care Continuum

Whenever we hear the words “patient identification” most of us envision sitting across a registration desk at a hospital or doctor’s office providing demographic data and our driver’s license and/or insurance card. However, patient identification in healthcare has evolved to now include accurate identification at each and every patient touchpoint along the care continuum including patient portals, mhealth apps, telehealth, and home health just to name a few. One of the smartest strategies to ensure accurate patient identification at any point along the care continuum is to capture a patient’s photo at registration and then leverage that photo along the care continuum through biometric facial recognition technology. 

Let’s take patient portals for example. Most of us know that Meaningful Use Stage 2 mandates that healthcare providers provide patients the ability to electronically view, download, and transmit health information. The most popular means to that end is the increasing use of patient portals yet many providers rely on antiquated identification protocols such as user names and passwords to protect access to this personal health information (PHI). The problem is relying on user names, passwords, and/or personal identification numbers (PINs) is risky and could potentially open the door to third party data breaches which are decimating the industry and exposing millions of patients’ PHI. 

As an alternative to using user names and passwords, consider a healthcare organization that captures a patient’s photo during registration. Not only is that photo visible to patient registration staff and clinicians at each episode along the care continuum as a second form of multi-factor authentication, but if a patient signs into a patient portal and the hospital has deployed facial recognition identification to authorize a patient’s identity prior to logging in, the hospital has just successfully leveraged that photo as an identification credential for access to their PHI. Same goes for mHealth apps. Biometric patient identification providers that offer the value and flexibility of facial recognition authentication can also help third party developers and healthcare providers add this technology to off-the-shelf (OTS) or custom mHealth apps as a more secure way of identifying patients with the ability to work with any standard camera. 

Coupled with the fact that 80% of patients are open to healthcare interactions on smart devices but remain highly sensitive to sharing health data, facial recognition biometrics for accurate identification has already proven itself as a more secure alternative than user names and passwords not to mention the fact that 69% of 16 -24 year olds recently polled indicated they believe biometrics will be faster and easier than passwords and PINs and half foresee the death of passwords by the year 2020.  

Writing on the Wall?

With predictions that 50% of smartphones sold by 2019 will have a fingerprint sensor and over a billion biometric mobile devices will ship worldwide by the year 2020 (all equipped with cameras sophisticated enough to use facial recognition), the evolution of patient identification in healthcare is tilting more towards the use of biometrics to replace user names, passwords, and PINs as the preferred method of authentication due to it’s increased security and the flexibility to apply the technology for accurate identification at more patient touchpoints borne from the rapid digitization of the industry. Considering the fact that 41% of consumers stress over smartphone mobile security and biometrics are already overtaking passwords as the de facto identification credential on smartphones, could this be the perfect storm for a rise in the use of facial recognition for accurate patient identification?

Responsible approaches to improving patient identification in healthcare must now include addressing accuracy at any touchpoint where a patient can now access PHI. The advent of facial recognition as a unique identifier in a singular or multi-factor environment is a smart answer to the challenge of ensuring a patient receives accurate care throughout the continuum no matter if they are physically present or accessing services from cyberspace.

Since more patients expect providers to ensure privacy and protect their PHI, is it time to more closely examine implementation of a patient identification solution that leverages biometric facial recognition? 

In Your Face: The Future of Federated Patient IdentificationMichael Trader is President and Co-Founder of RightPatient®. Michael is responsible for overseeing business development and marketing activities, government outreach, and for providing senior leadership on business and policy issues.

 

 

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Novant Health Uses Iris Biometrics to Identify Unknown Patient

It’s a familiar case. An unconscious or unknown patient arrives in the ER without any identification leaving clinicians to administer care in the absence of any medical history to review. This presents a serious patient safety risk since treating an unknown patient without the benefit of securing their identity is dangerous and can be a huge liability. What if they are allergic to a certain medication? What if they have a pre-existing condition that must be considered prior to receiving any treatment?

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Novant Health recently used the RightPatient iris biometrics patient identification system to identify an unknown, disoriented patient.

Since these cases are more often trauma related requiring immediate attention, clinicians must take a risk and administer care in the absence of any historical medical data. An obvious threat to patient safety and a situation that clearly raises liability, healthcare organizations have long sought to adopt technology that can instantly identify patients in these cases without the need for any demographic information. 

The staff at Novant Health decided to proactively implement an iris biometric identification system throughout their network as a means to secure accurate patient ID and ensure that patients, no matter what the circumstances, are kept safe throughout the care continuum. Although adopting a biometric patient identification system to identify unconscious or unknown patients wasn’t the sole reason that Novant implemented this technology, they knew that by choosing to use iris recognition as their primary biometric modality they would be able to quickly and accurately identify any patient in these circumstances without having to ask for an additional identification credentials (e.g. – D.O.B.). 

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Novant’s iris biometric patient identification system was recently put to the test when a disoriented, unknown patient arrived in the ER without any identification credentials. Novant staff quickly realized that they could take the patient’s photo with a RightPatient iris camera and if they had been previously registered in their Epic EHR database, the biometric patient identification system would recognize them and immediately pull up their medical record. Fortunately, the patient had previously been enrolled with the RightPatient system and their identity was instantly recognized after their photo was taken with the iris camera. A big relief to Novant staff since they were now able to not only access her medical history prior to treatment, but they were also able to quickly contact the patient’s relatives to inform them of the situation.

A link to the Novant article detailing the experience of using iris biometrics to identify an unknown patient can be found here.

Thank you to our partners at Novant Health for sharing this story and demonstrating the value of using biometrics for patient identification in the context of keeping patients as safe as possible throughout the care continuum!

How often do you experience situations where patients arrive at your facility without identification credentials? Did you know that not all biometric patient identification solutions have the ability to identify unknown or unconscious patients?

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Why We Offer a Choice of Hardware Modalities for Biometric Patient ID

Why We Offer a Choice of Hardware Modalities for Biometric Patient ID

Understanding the value of using a biometric patient identification solution that offers a choice of multiple biometric modalities is key to a better understanding of how this technology can truly increase patient safety in healthcare.

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

On many occasions throughout the course of conversations with different hospitals and healthcare systems, the question of which biometric modality to deploy for a biometric patient identification management project always surfaces. After all, choosing which biometric hardware modality to deploy is a critical factor for patient acceptance and efficient system performance – metrics that have a significant impact on the success and return on investment (ROI) of the initiative. More often than not when our customers and community get an in depth look at the variety of biometric hardware modalities we offer compared to other alternatives, they are curious about why we would support multiple devices instead of just one, and what the pros and cons are of each. The answer uncovers an important, but not frequently discussed attribute of biometric patient identification solutions that hospitals and healthcare organizations should be aware of.

Experience in Biometrics and Health System Integration Matters

The origins of RightPatient®’s biometric matching technology trace back 13 years through the experience and global track record of managing both small and large scale biometric identification management projects in many different industries by our parent company M2SYS Technology. As a proven innovator and expert in biometric matching technology, our experience has taught us that the success of these initiatives is largely dependent on ensuring that the biometric modality used matches the unique needs of our end users, offers the flexibility to change or add a modality in the future, has the ability to be customized prior to launch, and is easily scaled up as the deployment grows. 

Experience in managing biometric identification management projects has also taught us the importance of using human factor engineering as part of our system design process based on understanding what makes a task easy for hospital staff and what makes it hard in order to ultimately develop biometric tools that would support healthcare organization goals.  Deployments became more about identifying solutions that would cut down on “human error” and providing biometric hardware and software systems that fit employee need and workflow and less about deploying a solution that used the most popular and well known technology and relied on traditional conventions.

Ergonomics have become more influential in biometric patient ID system design, and training curriculum was refined to reflect the sources of expert performance, and how hospital staff acquire expertise in working with biometric identity systems. And perhaps most importantly, biometric deployments based on human factor engineering are designed to make systems more resilient in the face of shifting demands.   

Hardware diversity, patient identification mobility, and back end databases that use certain biometric matching types are the only way that hospitals will be able to reach pre-deployment defined goals of eliminating duplicate medical records/overlays, preventing medical ID theft/fraud, and increasing patient safety. The biometric hardware chosen for a deployment has a direct effect on achieving these goals which is why it becomes a critical decision in the overall project scope.

The Problem of “Locking In” to One Biometric Modality System Platform

Biometric vendors who only offer a choice of deploying one biometric modality system for a patient ID initiative are hamstrung by the limitations of the device manufacturer. In other words, they “lock” you into using one biometric modality system that inhibits the ability to expand a deployment to meet the new realities of identifying patients in healthcare – biometric patient ID systems must now be able to offer patient identification at new touchpoints along the care continuum (e.g. – smart mobile devices, patient portals, and telehealth) and not just accurate ID at the point of service. Biometric patient ID systems that rely on one biometric modality can’t offer this flexibility because they can’t identify patients in these scenarios and often times, hospitals who deploy these solutions must either make another investment in a system that does have this capability, or risk not addressing how to offer accurate patient identification for the aforementioned new patient touchpoints – a risk that could have extremely negative repercussions should a patient be mis-identified or a clinician misses key patient health data missing from their medical record.

Deploying a biometric patient authentication system that offers a variety of modalities is the only way a hospital can meet the increasing complications of ensuring accurate identification along the care continuum at new touchpoints, using voice or facial recognition biometrics for smart mobile devices as an example. Absent of this flexibility, hospitals and healthcare organizations are running the risk of non-authorized individuals accessing sensitive personal health information (PHI), or medical information not being attributed to the proper records which is a direct threat to patient safety and an extreme liability.

The ability to establish and maintain patient data integrity is also called into question when locking into a single biometric modality system. The holy grail of patient data integrity is to achieve 100% accuracy, cleanse a master patient index (MPI) of any duplicate medical records/overlays, and then have the ability to maintain that level of integrity as the database grows. Since single biometric modality systems do not have the ability to address accurate patient identification at all touchpoints along the care continuum, hospitals and healthcare organizations run the risk that a care event will either be administered to the incorrect patient, or medical data could be accessed and stolen by an unauthorized individual. Deploying multiple biometric modalities such as facial and voice recognition to address accurate patient ID at ALL touchpoints is the only way that true patient data integrity can be established and maintained. 

Conclusion

As the biometric identification management industry continues it’s rapid pace of evolution and expansion parallel to the evolution and expansion of new patient touchpoints to access medical data and services, hospitals and healthcare organizations should be thinking of deploying a solution that leverages multiple modalities that can accurately identify patients no matter where they are. The only way to accomplish this is the use of a biometric patient ID solution that offers a choice of modalities and a high degree of flexibility for deployment to address various patient touchpoints along the care continuum.

Don’t fall into the trap that a one biometric modality system will be sufficient to ensure accurate patient ID and a high level of patient data integrity across the care continuum. Learn more about how a choice of biometric hardware modalities for patient identification in healthcare is a smarter investment that will truly help hospitals and healthcare organizations achieve the goals that measure the success of the initiative.

Partnering with a vendor that has deep experience in biometric identification management technology, a strong track record of healthcare system integration experience, and a history of innovation is the only way to achieve the results you expect.

What patient ID challenges have you experienced that were solved by the use of multiple biometric modalities? Please share your comments below.

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

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Biometric Patient Identification Implementation Should Be Higher On The Priority List

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

As someone with a long track record of implementing enterprise IT solutions in healthcare, I frequently observe hospitals “shuffling the project deck” as they compare and contrast the merits and return on investment (ROI) of each initiative in order to determine which makes the most sense to allocate budget dollars. Does politics at times play a part in the decision of which technology projects eventually get approved? Yes, at times. Are there often misinterpretations of the value that an enterprise IT project can offer in both the short and long term? Absolutely. Do hospitals often place a high priority on implementing projects that in reality, should be pushed further down the list in lieu of the value that another project brings to the table? Definitely.

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Are healthcare organizations evaluating the proper criteria to prioritize enterprise IT Projects?

Case in point: the implementation of biometrics for patient identification in healthcare. Although I am obviously biased towards this technology since I work for a company that has helped many hospitals throughout the world see the benefits of using it to increase patient safety, prevent duplicates and overlays, and protect patients from medical identity theft and fraud, it doesn’t alter the facts about how implementing biometrics before making a commitment to other competing enterprise software projects is something more healthcare organizations should consider. Why? Let’s look at some specific examples of alternate enterprise project implementations that would actually benefit and see performance improvements if a biometric patient identification project deployment took preference:

1. EHR Projects – Although the implementation or “switch” to another EHR vendor is perhaps one of the most complicated, time consuming, and resource-intensive enterprise software projects a healthcare organization will ever undertake, the implementation of a biometric patient identification system prior to embarking on an EHR project is a smart idea. Why?

Our experience has shown that there is always an uptick in duplicate medical records when you are initially implementing or switching to a new EHR system, primarily because staff are adjusting to new workflows and are less likely to catch duplicates the first few months. Since duplicate medical records present a direct threat to patient safety and a serious treatment error risk to healthcare organizations, their prevention should be priority #1 for any modern EHR system. 

I am not necessarily advocating the push for budget dollar allocation to biometric patient identification over an EHR project, however implementing a biometric patient identification solution before an EHR Go Live will make it more successful by immediately eliminating the possibility of creating duplicate medical records and overlays and prevent staff from making registration and patient identification mistakes while learning the new system.

2. Duplicate Medical Record “Clean-Up” –  Often times, I run across hospitals that may be evaluating the implementation of a “duplicate medical record clean-up” project prior to deploying biometrcis for patient identification. Without discounting the importance of purging duplicate medical records from any EHR database, the argument for why hospitals should consider the use of biometrics for patient identification is clear — healthcare organizations will successfully perform a “de-duplication” cleanup but continue creating duplicates until they implement stronger patient ID technology and will most likely have to do another cleanup down the road. 

Keep in mind that it only takes one – ONE – mistreatment at the hands of incorrect, missing, or incomplete medical data due to duplicates or overlays to result in harm, or possibly even death of a patient. Ask yourself, are you willing to assume the risk of medical errors to patients and the repercussions (which often can include hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars in legal fees and compensation) of these errors for the short term gain of a “clean” master patient index (MPI)? Chances are, you aren’t willing to take that risk which leads to a stronger argument to implement biometrics for patient ID prior to launching a duplicate medical record clean-up initiative.

3. Big Data and Analytics – These are project priorities that perhaps perplex me the most, especially in the context of establishing higher data integrity when preparing to join a health information exchange (HIE), or as part of a merger that joins separate Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs).  If a healthcare organization is seeking to allocate budget dollars to initiatives that advance data integrity, that’s good news. No one will argue that the healthcare industry simply has to better understand and find wisdom in the terabytes of data their systems possess to help advance the “triple aim” and deliver higher quality care, especially as more disparate networks are attempting to share data . However, the problem is that allocating budget dollars to these deployments is the quintessential “cart before the horse” mentality.

Instead of placing more emphasis on cleaning existing “dirty” data, healthcare organizations are rushing to the HIE table for fear of losing a seat or appearing indifferent to their patients and the industry wide push on sharing and making health data more accessible. What good is joining a HIE (or merging IDN’s) in the absence of technology that ensures that not only is the data you share clean and all medical data is properly attributed to the correct patient, but also guarantees that the data will STAY clean to give you the confidence that clinicians truly have a complete picture of a patient’s health and medical history when administering care. 

I’m reminded of a story that is a perfect illustration of why implementing biometrics for patient ID should take precedence over many other health IT projects, especially those that address data quality.

Years ago I worked for a local YMCA that had a leaky roof over the gymnasium. Each time it would rain heavily, staff would be scrambling to place buckets around the gym floor that would strategically catch the water leaking from the roof. The leaks would cause event and class cancellations, disrupt workout schedules, and generally leave paying members feeling a bit frustrated. YMCA management then made a decision to replace the aging, wooden gym floor with a new model that was built with a soft rubber substance – a radical new technology that was supposed lower the impact and strain of running on a hardwood surface. They then spent tens of thousands of dollars replacing the floor, and as you may have guessed, the next time a powerful storm came through, it leaked water all over the new gym floor. The irony in this situation of course is that management should have allocated the funding to fix the roof before they had the new floor installed.

As we continue to help the healthcare industry understand the advantages of implementing biometrics for patient identification, we understand that many healthcare organizations are not flush with cash to haphazardly allocate to any enterprise project that comes down the road. There are many mission critical projects that simply take precedence in the broader scope of improving the quality of care. Shouldn’t the deployment of biometrics for patient identification be one of them?

Brad Marshall works for RightPatient - the industry's best biometric patient identification solution.

Brad 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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Identify Unconscious, Unknown Patients with Biometric Identification Technology

Unconscious, unknown patients pose a serious threat to patient safety

It’s 4:00 am and things are quiet in the ER. Patient traffic has slowed to a trickle, clinicians are busy treating existing patients, and support staff is completing paperwork and administrative tasks during the downtime. Suddenly, you get a fervent call that paramedics are en route to your facility with an unconscious, unidentified trauma patient, spitting out their vital signs and condition while the clinical staff leaps into action to prepare for their arrival. The ambulance roars into the ED bay with wailing sirens and flickering lights, the ED doors swing open, and the patient is quickly ushered in on a stretcher and into an exam room for immediate treatment.

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Did you know that not all biometric patient identification technologies have the ability to identify unconscious, unknown patients?

Dealing with unconscious patients in a hospital environment can be a dangerous event.  Each facility has its own protocol for identifying unknown emergency room patients that usually involves assigning the patient an identification tag with a hospital number or medical record number, but the dangers and risks of treating a patient with no identification rise precipitously in the absence of any formal identification credentials. Unanswered questions about their past medical history is a significant risk and pose a direct threat to patient safety. 

Using biometrics to identify unconscious patients

What if there was a way to identify an unconscious patient and quickly access their medical history prior to treatment? Thanks to the increasing adoption of biometrics for patient identification, many hospitals are now equipped with a way to quickly and accurately identify unconscious patients through a fast biometric scan.

What’s important to know however is that unfortunately, not all biometric patient identification technologies have the ability to identify unconscious, unknown patients contrary to the widespread belief that they can.

Why? Biometric patient identification technologies are not all cut from the same mold and while some do indeed contain the ability to identify unconscious patients, back-end search capabilities limit others from being able to do so.

What’s often misunderstood about using biometrics for patient identification is how the back end search technology actually determines a patient’s identity. To illustrate, let’s take 2 examples of patients who walk into two different hospital ED departments – one that uses palm vein biometrics for patient identification and the other that uses iris recognition.

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  • Scenario #1 – John Doe steps through the doors of hospital A’s ED department and approaches the registration counter. A patient access coordinator asks the patient for their date of birth and then instructs them to place their hand on a palm vein reader which verifies their identity and then displays the unique medical record that has been linked to their biometric credentials.  This search methodology is referred to as “1:Few segmented identification” which compares a captured biometric template against a portion of the total biometric database. Prior to capturing John Doe’s biometrics, a credential needs to be provided prior to the biometric scan to determine which templates should be compared against. The biometric system would then compare the captured template against only those templates that share the same birth date. 
  • Scenario #2 – Jane Doe arrives at hospital B’s ED and is greeted by the patient access coordinator. Without asking any questions, Jane’s picture is taken with an iris camera that subsequently confirms her identity and pulls up the medical record that has been linked to her biometric credentials. This biometric matching type is referred to as “one-to-many identification” (1:N) which compares Jane’s captured biometric template against all stored templates. No other information is required besides the biometric scan. 

1:N matching does not require patients to provide an identity credential prior to performing a biometric scan which means that if an unknown, unconscious patient arrives at a hospital their identity can be quickly and accurately determined, even if they can’t speak. 

One to many searches are the only way to identify unconscious patients

Now imagine John Doe arriving at hospital A unconscious without any identification. If the hospital is using palm vein biometrics for patient identification, how will John be able to provide his birth date prior to someone placing his hand on the palm vein reader? The answer is that he can’t, rendering the system ineffective for identity verification on the unconscious, unidentifiable patients.

If Jane Doe was unconscious and arrived at hospital B who uses iris biometrics for patient identification, clinicians could gently raise her eyelids, take her picture with an iris camera and instantly determine her identity without requiring any additional information.

Understanding the functionality of back end biometric searches can help guide healthcare facilities in the right direction prior to adopting the technology if the identification of unconscious, unknown patients is important. 

Learn more about the advantages of deploying a biometric patient identification system to increase patient safety through the “Resources” section of our Web site.

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Over 99% of Patients Overwhelmingly Accepting of Iris Biometrics for Patient Identification

Iris recognition, long branded as “creepy” and “invasive” is finally getting a chance to set the record straight. Often depicted through wildly inaccurate Hollywood spy film sensationalism and embellished on the pages of science fiction novels, ask an average person to describe what this technology is and answers may range from “Isn’t that the technology that beams a laser to scan your eye?” or “Yes, iris recognition – that’s when someone scans your retina.” Answers to what iris recognition is perceived to be can oscillate from slightly inexact to outlandishly untrue. Thankfully, our experience deploying iris biometrics for patient identification in healthcare has provided us with key field research on not only how patients perceive the technology, but also their willingness to use it as a patient safety tool that eliminates duplicate medical records/overlays, and prevents medical identity theft and healthcare fraud at the point of service. Here’s what we found out:

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Contrary to popular belief, patients overwhelmingly choose to enroll in iris recognition for patient identification.

One of the core tenets in our approach to developing biometric patient identification solutions for healthcare is offering the flexibility for hospitals to choose which biometric modality is most suitable or desired. Some hospitals may choose fingerprint biometrics with the confidence that their patient demographic has excellent skin integrity and would not object to this modality. Other hospitals may choose to deploy palm vein biometrics for patient identification or finger vein biometrics, both of which use near infrared light to map out a vein pattern beneath the skin’s surface. Still other facilities have evaluated the RightPatient® biometric options and decided that iris recognition is the most optimal biometric modality for patient identification. Iris recognition uses a high definition digital camera to capture your photograph and construct a unique biometric template, which is then linked to your electronic medical record. Iris recognition does not “scan” your eyes and we know that iris biometrics and retinal scanning are two completely separate biometric modalities; it is very simply a high resolution digital photograph and the technology is 100% safe for patients.

When we embarked on our journey to offer the healthcare industry a more secure and effective way to establish patient identification accuracy through the use of biometrics, our goal was to remain flexible in our biometric options and to educate our customers, understanding that hospital environments and patient populations ultimately dictate deployment parameters. Through the use of our human factor engineering expertise – which is based upon the body of knowledge about human abilities and characteristics that are relevant to design and the application of this knowledge to the design of systems for safe, comfortable employee use – we custom build our solution to help ensure a seamless experience that covers all touchpoints.

When presented with the options, we have found that many hospitals prefer to use iris recognition. The reasons vary, but essentially the non-contact, hygienic nature of the technology coupled with accuracy and matching speed make it an appealing choice. Some hospitals that use RightPatient® initially expressed concern that patients may be leery of iris recognition, which could affect participation rates. In practice, however, we have observed quite the opposite.  Our customers have reported that at least 99% of patients opt-in to using iris recognition to protect their medical identities. 99%.  Once patients see the technology for what it is – no different than having their picture taken with any other camera – and understand the value in enrolling, any preconceived notions are quickly neutralized. 

This makes perfect sense considering the technology’s purpose is to keep patients safe from medical errors, the danger of duplicate medical records and the potential devastation that medical identity theft and fraud can cause. 

You don’t even have to take our word for it.  Check out this customer testimonial video on patient acceptance of our RightPatient® patient identification solution with iris biometrics:

What are your concerns about the use of iris recognition for patient identification? Please leave us your questions and comments below.