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RightPatient-Identity-Management-in-Healthcare-Facilities

How Identity Management in Healthcare Helps With the Interoperability & Patient Access Rule

With COVID-19, telehealth, data breaches, and other challenges, healthcare providers have had their hands full. Because COVID-19 is a national health crisis, CMS pushed back compliance with its Interoperability and Patient Access rule until July 1, 2021, though it’s been effective since the start of 2021. Nevertheless, with mass vaccinations across the country, as well as hospitals slowly opening, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) will require healthcare providers to comply from July 1. So, let’s examine a few of these requirements, the way it mandates correct information of patients, and the way proper identity management in healthcare facilities can ensure patient data integrity.

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The reason CMS is gambling hugely on this rule

Like all the rules out there, the CMS Interoperability and Patient Access rule is comprehensive – the majority of it requires healthcare facilities to remove any restrictions which normally prevent patient information exchanges all across the healthcare gamut. 

Under this rule, CMS plans to improve interoperability along with patient access – assisting the providers as well as patients to ensure proper healthcare outcomes.

Concerning interoperability, CMS wants the rule to aid in assisting healthcare providers to share and access patient information securely and effectively. That will assist in improving collaboration and improving healthcare outcomes as it will help make informed decisions more accurately. 

On the other hand, patients, when they’ll get access to their health information, will be more involved with care decisions, increasing patient engagement. 

Improving patient data access across the care continuum has several benefits such as improving healthcare outcomes, cutting costs, reducing redundant lab tests, reducing inefficiencies, and boosting collaboration among the caregivers – improving healthcare results as well. Though, all that will happen only if patient data integrity is rigorously maintained, and this requires immaculate identity management in healthcare facilities.

Healthcare providers must support e-notifications

As a segment of this rule, CMS necessitates healthcare givers (which utilize EHR systems) like critical access, acute care facilities, and psychiatric hospitals must deliver e-notifications to the patient’s other caregivers like primary care doctors, post-acute providers and suppliers, amongst other entities during ADT (admission, discharge, or transfer) events – appropriate for ED as well as inpatient admissions. This data has to consist of the patient’s basic information, the name of the sending organization, and if needed, the diagnosis of the patient.

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But how does identity management in healthcare facilities play a part here? 

So, patient identification in the majority of hospitals as well as health systems is yet a substantial dilemma for several causes. The outcomes can be distressing – patient misidentification can lead to making errors with medical records, mixing up patients, medical identity theft, damaging healthcare results, getting readmitted to a hospital or it could end up killing someone!

Think about it. What if an incorrect alert gets delivered to the incorrect caregiver because of a patient identification error – it would end up a disaster for everyone, if unnoticed. Not just would it impede the outcome for the patient, it would additionally compromise CMS compliance – affecting reimbursements, something that is very important for the majority of healthcare suppliers. 

Whilst incorrect patient identification is quite common in the majority of healthcare facilities, reliable caregivers are utilizing RightPatient to guarantee immaculate identity management in healthcare facilities. 

The Way RightPatient guarantees accurate identity management in healthcare facilities

RightPatient is the leading patient ID platform that identifies patients accurately at any touchpoint in the care continuum. By accurately identifying patient records right from registration and beyond, RightPatient prevents false alerts and ensures that the appropriate healthcare organization receives e-notifications. Since RightPatient also ensures patient data integrity by protecting patient information, it also leads to lower readmissions, boosting CMS compliance down the line. RightPatient also enhances patient safety, prevents medical errors, red-flags fraudsters in real-time – improving the bottom line in the process. 

How are YOU planning to ensure CMS compliance at your healthcare facility? 

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Claim Denials are Damaging More Than 30 Percent of Hospitals – Are You Stopping Them?

Claim denials have always been a problem – it is a fact that they have occurred in all kinds of health issues for many years. Nevertheless, it got pushed to the back of the line due to the COVID-19 as well as problems with IT in the healthcare field, efforts to get people vaccinated, etc.

Sadly, claim denials have gone up – they are happening much more often now. In fact, it’s reported they have gone up 20 percent in the last 5 years! That, along with other gloomy statistics, was announced in a recent study from Harmony Healthcare. With that out of the way, it’s time to look more closely at this situation and how revenue cycle management in healthcare operations can be improved by identifying patients correctly.

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A short update on claim denials

Claim denials, additionally called denied claims, are simply claims normally sent in by a healthcare supplier to the authorized payer, except for particular reasons, they were deemed “unpayable.” That occurs because of issues with coding and billing, mixing up medical records, missing filing deadlines, inadequate medical needs, or additional pertinent explanations.

So, here is what’s going on currently regarding denied claims.

Several disturbing statistics concerning denied claims

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered nearly everything to become worse, including denied claims. In fact, the earlier stated study showed a massive one-third of hospitals stated their denial rates were 10% or over. The study included more than 130 healthcare providers all over the United States and this rate of denial ranged between 6 and 13%. The accepted “danger zone” for denied claims is touted as 10%. 

This study likewise explained why hospital administrators think denied claims happen. Thirty-two percent said it was caused due to coding errors while twenty percent said the reason was front-end concerns. Nonetheless, both these issues may be based on mix-ups with medical records, which comes from patients being misidentified – we will speak more on that topic later. 

Whilst these revealed denied claim frequency, what’re the real issues denied claims cause?

The massive effect of denied claims

Denied claims are exceedingly expensive if faced – and may amount to around $4.9 million for the healthcare supplier. No matter how big or small a provider is, that is a huge portion of cash, and could even cause some hospitals to close.

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Understand, denied claims are not merely expensive on their own, FTEs or full-time equivalents must do their best to fix any coding errors so the successive claims won’t be refused or refuted. This means the FTEs aren’t doing their normal job, which slows down other work and causes the whole process to be ineffective. Altogether, these facts cause a major blow to the bottom line of these hospitals. 

As earlier stated, numerous denied claims are generated because of issues at the front end as well as coding mistakes, which happen a lot due to misidentifying patients.

The way denied claims and misidentifying patients are linked

This is very easy to figure out – it begins at the registration desk. The incorrect EHR gets noted with the patient, so, incorrect info is placed in the medical record. That may occur because of an error like an overlay or duplicate. If no one discovers the error before the treatment is concluded, the patient’s provider ends up sending the wrong claim info to the authorized payer. 

As the claim is being processed, the authorized payer closely inspects it and sees there are errors, thus the claim gets denied. Misidentifying patients causes coding errors and front-end problems. These issues can be averted if the patient is identified properly. 

RightPatient decreases claim denials, and goes beyond! 

RightPatient helps many healthcare facilities protect millions of their patients’ records. It’s the industry’s top touchless biometric patient identification platform. It works by identifying patients via facial recognition, thus averting overlays, duplicates, and mix-ups with medical records from the beginning. Therefore, this averts the claim from being denied, thus saving hospitals lots of money. It just may be the answer you need to reducing denied claims.

The benefits of RightPatient do not end there. Besides reducing denied claims, RightPatient improves patient safety, enhances healthcare outcomes, and ensures positive patient outcomes. 

Does your healthcare facility prevent denied claims efficiently?

RightPatient-ensures-data-integrity-in-healthcare-facilities

Ensuring Data Integrity in Healthcare Facilities is Critical in a Post-Pandemic World

Starting on a positive note, it’s safe to say that we’ve seen the worst of the pandemic, at least in the U.S. Now that over 310 million Americans are vaccinated against the notorious COVID-19, almost everything is slowly but surely returning to the “old normal”. We’re saying “almost” because COVID-19 is still affecting a lot of people, businesses, institutions, and industries. The U.S. healthcare system, for instance, arguably faced the worst challenges it has ever had last year, leading to astronomical losses. While providers are opening their doors slowly, it’s estimated that they will face collective losses of over $120 billion this year. This makes it quite clear – hospitals need to implement strategies that can reduce losses, and ensuring patient data integrity in healthcare facilities might just be the answer, leading to improved quality and safety in healthcare – let’s dive deep.

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How COVID-19 changed our realities

Well, even if you’ve been living under a rock, you’d have noticed that the entire world changed last year. Social gatherings, sporting events, rallies, basically anything that included a large number of people were suspended and lockdowns were imposed to flatten the curve and reduce the infection rate. While different countries implemented lockdowns differently, all of them had one thing in common – the healthcare systems were shaken to their cores due to the unprecedented challenges.

COVID-19 was devastating for healthcare providers

In the U.S., hospitals had to suspend their regular operations, elective procedures, and in-person visits to take care of the COVID-19 patients. Healthcare teams and frontline workers did everything possible to fight COVID-19 as they risked their lives. As a result, hospitals had to cut off sources that normally would bring in revenue, and losses were around $323 billion last year. Surgeries usually are a huge source of revenue for healthcare organizations, and as they were postponed indefinitely, hospital finances plummeted.

Before going into how ensuring patient data integrity in healthcare facilities can reduce significant losses down the line, let’s take a look at some stats regarding surgeries. 

Some worrying stats regarding surgeries

According to research conducted by McKinsey & Company, hospitals and health systems saw (on average) a 35% decline in surgical cases from March 2020 to July 2020. The same research also mentions that working on this backlog might require at least two years even if facilities can operate at 110% capacity!

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According to additional research, elective surgeries declined by around 193% after CMS recommended healthcare providers postpone non-emergency procedures back in 2020 – leading to unprecedented losses.

Moreover, only half of the healthcare providers want to implement strategies or solutions that can help them deal with this growing backlog. Moreover, around 80% of these same individuals believe that they can grow next year.

What they are failing to realize is that times have changed and so has the healthcare space. Telehealth is dominating and everyone is worried about hospital-acquired infections – healthcare has changed significantly. In this case, the hospitals and clinics that adapt themselves to the new changes will be the ones that will not only survive but will also thrive in the long run. While data integrity in healthcare has been sidelined during the pandemic, ensuring it becomes an important priority now can make all the difference.

But how is that relevant to surgeries? 

Patient data integrity in healthcare facilities can go a long way

Well, collecting and analyzing data properly can prevent losses, ensure smoother operations, and lead to boosted bottom lines. In fact, healthcare organizations that properly utilize data can make accurate forecasts, provide improved healthcare outcomes, and prevent medical errors. One of the key components of that is patient data – something which must be accurate at all costs. 

Ensuring patient data integrity in healthcare facilities can be challenging, but using the proper tools can drastically reduce adverse effects.

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For instance, patient data integrity failure can lead to duplicate medical records or overlays, patient safety incidents, detrimental healthcare outcomes, patient mix-ups, wrong procedures, and more. However, RightPatient is a solution that ensures patient data integrity right off the bat. 

RightPatient ensures patient data integrity in healthcare facilities

RightPatient is a robust touchless patient identification platform that solves one of the most crucial but overlooked issues of healthcare – patient misidentification. However, it brings several other benefits to healthcare providers and their patients.

By ensuring that the accurate medical record is used every time the registered patient comes in, RightPatient prevents mix-ups and duplicates, ensures patient data integrity, and ensures that data quality is maintained at all times.

RightPatient has been proudly protecting millions of patient records at several hospitals for years now with positive patient identification – are you protecting your patients properly?

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Improving Healthcare Outcomes with 4 Strategies

COVID-19 has the U.S. healthcare system sweating through probably the most volatile phase in its history. Hospitals are opening up their doors and gradually receiving patients as things are getting much better with the distribution of vaccines. However, the danger of underlying issues that have plagued the healthcare system for decades still remains. Despite these problems, the burden of hospitals providing immaculate healthcare services is still there. That being said, here are some of the practices that can help hospitals with improving healthcare outcomes and reducing their issues.

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Improving healthcare outcomes is a major priority currently

Administering proper care at the proper time and the avoidance of patient safety incidents is a major objective of hospitals. Thus, hospitals are under pressure to implement relevant strategies and solutions that will enhance their effectiveness. This includes partnering with other care providers to protect patient data integrity. While implementing some of these strategies can be pretty expensive, they do help with improving healthcare outcomes – here are some of the most important ones:

Ensuring efficient collaboration with the patients’ care providers

The right kind of collaboration is important in healthcare nowadays and CMS has established new conditions that require caregivers to work together. It has upped the ante on the degree of seriousness of it all.

So, what is the correlation between collaboration and patient outcomes? How does it work to improve healthcare outcomes?

Before terms such as interoperability and collaboration existed, people often were loyal to a single healthcare facility. This has changed, especially with data sharing, EHRs, and interoperability – patients are now free to visit multiple caregivers for treatments to their various conditions and ailments. There might be an interrelation between patients’ conditions and this provides ground for caregivers to associate to ensure that they obtain all the necessary data and up-to-date information that will enable them to make the best decisions with regards to handling the patient and thus improving healthcare outcomes.

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A hospital that is open to collaboration and the implementation of required strategies and relevant solutions will go a long way in helping to improve patient outcomes. The CMS requirements mandate that caregivers support sending and receiving electronic notifications during ADT events that provide updated information about a patient’s condition. RightPatient is a useful tool that caregivers can use to ensure the proper identification of patients and prevent false alerts – more on that later.

Ensuring patient data integrity

The integrity of patient data is often overlooked when it comes to its effects on healthcare outcomes but it is crucial nonetheless. Inadequate positive patient identification can ultimately affect the integrity of patient data. This occurs when a patient is treated with the medical record of another patient or the data gets corrupted in the EHR as the wrong information gets saved in it. When the actual patient comes in for treatment, he gets the wrong administration due to inaccurate information. Thus, medical errors arise, leading to incorrect treatment plans, wrong medication, and more, which lead to negative healthcare outcomes.

Impersonation by a fraudster can also lead to the compromise of patient data integrity – it occurs during medical identity theft. This case is similar to patient misidentification, the only difference might just be that the impersonator does it deliberately. The fraudster receiving the treatment then gets his/her information added into the victim’s EHR thus corrupting patient data. If this passes on undetected, the victim could end up undergoing the wrong treatment procedure.

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Therefore, a patient’s data has to be protected against tampering to further improve the healthcare outcome of the patients due to the reception of the proper treatment on schedule. 

Avoiding preventable medical errors

The focus has also shifted to limiting the occurrence of otherwise avoidable medical errors. The statistics behind such errors are quite alarming. These are common as a result of technical errors, medication errors, medical record mix-ups, wrong information, and so on. Poor patient identification is also responsible for most of the preventable medical errors. Thus, if patients can be accurately identified, then it will significantly improve patient outcomes. 

Preventing patient misidentification

The common problem in all the scenarios above is patient identification errors. It causes a huge problem for hospitals and health systems in general as discussed earlier. With patient misidentification, patient safety can be jeopardized with false alerts rampant during collaboration with other caregivers, sharing corrupted patient information, and the consequence is medical error. The bottom line is that misidentification can affect healthcare outcomes and it can even lead to the death of patients. 

Fortunately, accurate patient identification with RightPatient can help improve healthcare outcomes. 

RightPatient has been helping improve patient safety

RightPatient, with its touchless biometric patient identification platform, has become the top choice for several healthcare providers. It has helped them to enhance patient safety, improve patient healthcare outcomes, and reduce the occurrence of medical errors. The benefits are numerous for both patients and caregivers and this includes safety – it is contactless and perfect for use in a post-pandemic world.

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Current Challenges in Clinical Research that Hamper Trials

Clinical trials have existed for a long time but they became even more important when COVID-19 raged. Traditionally, all vaccines, medical devices, and beneficial drugs designed for specific diseases are created by carrying out intensive tests to ascertain their safety and viability in treating the disease through clinical trials. The process of a clinical trial can be excruciatingly long and laborious with several factors that could deter its progress and success. We will discuss the notable challenges common to clinical research, how it affects the process and the results of clinical trials, how sponsors and Principal Investigators (PIs) leave crucial issues out unsorted, and how to best take advantage of patient identity verification.

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Preventing professional patients is possible with RightPatient.

Current challenges in clinical research 

Arduous, dangerous, time-intensive, and complex are the words that can fully capture the nature of the process that surrounds clinical trials. The trial is supervised by Sponsors and PIs to ensure that there are no violations of the rules and regulations to the letter such as the enrollment of the right amount of patients that fit the required conditions for the trials. They are also tasked with the stringent management of several trial sites. Here are some of the challenges that oppose the success of clinical trials.

Patient recruitment can pose a huge challenge

The most recurrent aspect in the list of current challenges in clinical research that often occurs right from the conception of the idea of a clinical trial is the issue of patient recruitment. Some of the problems, in this case, include the unresponsiveness of patients, the attraction of patients with conditions that do not fit the subject of the test, or poorly performing research sites. These could end the clinical trial before it even starts. If we are to delve into the lengthy list of the challenges of patient recruitment, it would take an entirely different article of its own.

The focus here is that there can be no clinical trial if test subjects are not available or they do not fit the criteria for the trial. The problems that may arise from the trials may result from the fact that research data was not enough to affirm the drug/vaccine’s effectiveness. Irrespective of the promising nature of the agent, the drug may fail to progress to the subsequent phases necessary for approval for general use.

Designing trials that ensure success

The process of designing a successful clinical trial is also one of the top challenges because it has to satisfy everyone. At the start, it was not so complex, all rules and regulations were often in their infancy, and things were always pretty easy.

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Current challenges in clinical trials – RightPatient addresses the overlooked one.

Modern clinical trials, however, have taken on a new shape of complexity with rules that must be adhered to from top to bottom. It must be simple for patients to understand and obey, it must proffer answers to rather difficult questions in the right way, and ultimately, it must satisfy the necessary stakeholders. Meeting expectations in a trial design is not easy. This makes it one of the most consistent of the current challenges in clinical research.

Ensuring and maintaining compliance with the rules and regulations

The healthcare industry is a highly monitored sector because of the gravity of the healthcare outcomes of patients in the system. The subsequent products of clinical trials such as drugs, vaccines, treatment processes, and medical devices represent outcomes, they are also subject to heavy regulations.

The existence and importance of the regulations are relateable but it also makes for a herculean task in strict compliance. The slightest discrepancy could hinder the trial and lead to a huge financial loss running up to millions. Maintaining and ensuring compliance remains a great challenge with unlimited imposed regulations.

Preventing professional patients

Professional patients is not a commonly discussed term whenever issues related to current challenges in clinical research are raised. Nonetheless, it is also a crucial issue. It goes by different terms like “professional study subjects” and “duplicate study subjects”, and they are individuals who are capable of thwarting the credibility of clinical trials. They are culpable for participating in multiple trials simultaneously or consecutively, thereby influencing ruining the overall results of the trials that follow.

A relevant illustration is that of a duplicate study subject that has been diagnosed with a heart condition and has participated in a trial and received dosages of an experimental drug. The subject then goes almost immediately to partake in another trial. The problem lies in the fact that the initial drug is still in their system and it will project wrongly on the second trial. There is also the danger attached to going to multiple trials as it will not only skew the results of the trials but will also be harmful to them.

These types of patients affect the integrity of clinical trials while also presenting a danger to their health. In addition, they could lead to losses worth millions and can lead to experimental agents being deemed as failures because of skewed results. Fortunately, RightPatient can prevent

If you are looking for the right tool to help in dealing with professional patients in clinical trials, you can count on RightPatient. It is a trusted touchless patient identification platform that has earned great reviews from top healthcare providers. It has ample capabilities and experience that could put an end to issues of professional patients effectively. The platform could help to save millions worth of losses, and mitigate delays in approvals, and enhancing the integrity of trials. RightPatient is the perfect way to prevent professional study subjects in clinical trials.

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How Professional Patients are One of the Crucial Challenges of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials have been around for years. They’re often a way of testing new treatments on people who are already requiring treatment for something. For those with terminal diagnoses, they may prolong life or improve the quality of their remaining time. Chronic conditions may be alleviated, and treatment once considered experimental and new may become mainstream after a successful clinical trial. They might allow the development of new drugs or instead, look at prevention or better diagnosis of disease. Clinical trials can help establish whether screening, imaging, or testing can assist early diagnosis or investigate how best to support those people diagnosed with a particular disease. However, all of these can be damaged by the challenges of clinical trials, and one of the overlooked ones is professional study subjects – let’s see how.

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Clinical trials attract different types of individuals

For some, a clinical trial can simply be a way of getting a free treatment or being paid for the time the trial takes. Some patients will use any underhand means at their disposal to ensure their place on these trials, as for them, they are lucrative little earners. So many people are living with multiple illnesses that simply paying for all the medications can get expensive. Any chance that they find to try something for free is a lucky break for their finances. Then, many individuals are more altruistic. They simply want the chance to take part in something which might potentially change the course of treatment for other patients, some of whom may be their loved ones.

So, it was with the trials of the COVID-19 vaccines. The light at the end of the pandemic tunnel; a chance to gain a measure of protection against this virulent disease. Some people, however, were purely in the trials for their own ends. They wanted the vaccine first, both doses, and they would stop at nothing to get it – the majority of the trials face these types of individuals.

So how could these professional study subjects play the system like this and become one of the overlooked challenges of clinical trials? Lax patient identification is not the only answer, it’s far more complicated than that. 

  • One way these professional study subjects game the system is to ignore the terms and conditions of the trial. They maintain they meet the criteria, when in fact they have an underlying condition that would automatically exclude them from taking part. Or they choose not to disclose that they are already participating in another trial when the rules of the second trial they are applying for clearly state that it must be the only trial they are enrolled in at any time.
  • Earning money may not be the sole motivator for everyone. Some people like to take advantage of freebies to save money on their medical bills. Others could have more nefarious reasons, like acquiring the drugs for recreational purposes. There is also a group of professional patients who hope the medicine or treatment being trialed will stop or slow down their disease, even if that’s not the prime reason for the trial. These patients are more likely to travel long distances to ensure they are in the group testing the new treatment, rather than receiving a placebo. They may also enroll in multiple sites under different identities. This has the potential to skew the results of the trial, which could affect the chances of a treatment being brought to the market.

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  • Assuming a false identity is the way many of these professional patients get around the rules on participating in clinical trials. If they look alike, they could masquerade as their sibling, or simply purchase a forged identity online for a fraction of the money they stand to earn from the trial. For those who know where to look, fake documents are available for $50 to $100, and the earnings from a trial could run into thousands of dollars for each participant.
  • These professional patients are willing to game the system in any way possible. Even falsifying participation is not unknown – saying they took the drugs when they haven’t. That means they won’t show any effects, although they will still be treated as a trial member. If enough people on one trial game the system in various ways, the results could be irretrievably altered, and the rollout could be delayed or halted, no matter how promising the previous work had looked.

RightPatient prevents professional patients

Using a touchless biometric patient identification platform like RightPatient can prevent one of the overlooked but crucial challenges of clinical trials. It can detect blacklisted participants who try to use the trial to their own ends – eliminating professional patients in clinical trials. This increases the integrity of the trial and ultimately improves results. Because it allows accurate recording of someone’s participation in the trial, it prevents fraud, wasted effort, and delayed approvals – saving millions in the process and preventing trials from being shut down.

Clinical trials can benefit from using the RightPatient platform to correctly identify their trial participants. The trials will have accurate data, and the patients’ records will be correctly updated with their participation and the outcome.

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The Advantages of Telehealth and Why Hospitals Must be Cautious With It

Telehealth has been around for a while now, even if it only came to prominence during the last year. A paper from the University of California, Davis suggests that telehealth started in the early 1960s. Authoritative websites run by major healthcare providers have been around for at least 20 years. The last year or so has seen remote solutions come into their own, with regular consultations held by video call, support groups for all kinds of ailments moving to online platforms, and routine telephone screening used to allocate patients to the appropriate staff member – exposing virtually everyone to the advantages of telehealth.

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Given the pandemic, people were told to shelter in place. The healthcare system had no spare capacity to deal with seeing patients face to face. Patients were told not to attend the hospital or their regular clinic. Elective surgeries were canceled and routine appointments became virtual, conducted first by telephone and then by video call. The stuff of science fiction suddenly hit the mainstream – slowly demonstrating the advantages of telehealth.

Medical staff members are dealing with ever more complicated cases, among other things. Anything which can simplify and streamline this necessary engagement has to be tried, at least. The pandemic allowed a trial that otherwise might have been seen as driving patients away.

Remote healthcare has been growing in the last few decades. From emails requesting medical records or consultant second opinions, to routine online forms to fill out for regular repeat prescriptions or book appointments, the ability to integrate technology in healthcare is clear. Many primary healthcare practitioners no longer accept requests for repeat prescriptions by telephone but instead require patients to fill in their details online. Imaging reports can be filed online and shared electronically with a patient’s care team, while telephone or video consultations can save a patient having to visit the clinic unless a physical exam is necessary. This may allow the patient to fit the call into a scheduled break at work or arrange for others to take care of dependents for a short time.

The advantages of telehealth everyone loves

Telehealth does not necessarily even need anything more than a cellphone connection. A video connection may be preferable in some cases, but most screening and initial consultations can be carried out over the phone. No costly and time-consuming travel for the patient, no risk of delays for the practitioner. In these times of social distancing, it is best to minimize in-person contact, and telehealth is ideal for this. Patients who have been advised to shelter in place can still receive advice, treatment, prescriptions, and counseling with no risk to themselves or their specialist.

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Telehealth also speeds up the sharing of information between healthcare teams. A report and images can be shared by email over a secure link far quicker than a physical package can be delivered. Sharing patient information online can expedite care, which in turn can improve patient outcomes, quality, and safety in healthcare.

Telehealth needs to be used with caution

While there are numerous advantages of telehealth, it still needs to be used with caution. Technology can be used to help healthcare, as long as it is used securely and correctly. No one wants a patient safety incident resulting from misdirected confidential information or an incorrect bill, after all. Telehealth is more than simply a way to help hospitals improve their finances. Facilities need to ensure they can demonstrate to patients and staff that telehealth is secure as well as slick. It can allow patients to access healthcare when they wouldn’t otherwise be able to, as it will put them in touch with a regular member of their team who is familiar with their case. This means a higher quality of care than if the patient was simply searching online for treatment options.

One option which is not mentioned so often is that telehealth visits can be billed faster. Good for the provider, not so great for the patient, who may also have to attend an in-person appointment for a physical examination after screening. Both the initial virtual consultation and the appointment on site are likely to be chargeable, even though initial screening has often previously been free. Some providers may decide to offer a package of mixed virtual and face-to-face appointments, but should always make this clear to the patient.

Telehealth is not for everyone

Telehealth is convenient for those who are busy and anyone who can get to grips with new software quickly. For patients who are not technologically aware, anyone who lives off the beaten track, in rural locations, or off-grid altogether, it is likely to be more of a challenge to access. Virtual consultations have their place, but in-person healthcare must remain for those who cannot or choose not to access it online.

Some patients will, after all, have reservations about virtual appointments due to concerns about data and personal security. A biometric touchless patient identification platform like RightPatient may help calm their worries. Because it is biometric rather than in-person or touchscreen activated, it can prevent medical identity theft during both telehealth or in-person visits.

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It’s Time to Improve the Patient Experience as In-Person Medical Visits Are Back

Now that lockdown is easing, in-person visits to medical facilities for non-urgent reasons can resume. Masks are being removed, people can come into closer contact than they could previously, and the routines of everyday life are returning. This is where hospitals can put into practice new ways of working which were adopted because of the pandemic and improve the patient experience.

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RightPatient improves the patient experience

More virtual appointments to prevent waiting times and improve punctuality for those patients who do need to be seen in person. Telephone triaging so that the patient is routed to the correct specialist faster. Individual consultations rather than groups which may encourage patients to be more open about their ailment, or group sessions held remotely so patients who work better with a support network can still have that feeling of accountability. All of these, when used appropriately for the individual patient, can improve the patient experience, reduce patient safety incidents, and improve healthcare outcomes.

Virtual consultations may not be for everyone

Of course, a touchless biometric patient identification platform such as RightPatient can improve quality and safety in healthcare where it is used. As hospitals and other healthcare locations move towards dealing with higher numbers of routine patients again, anything which can simplify the process should be welcome. There is a significant backlog of routine procedures which need to be undertaken having been canceled in favor of treating COVID infected patients, so all the staff members are likely to be busy for some time to come. Some workers were furloughed, other facilities had departments closed and remaining staff diverted to caring for acutely ill patients. Now, they need to return to their more usual work, while picking up the pieces of disrupted patient treatment pathways and working to improve the patient experience.

Naturally, this had a knock-on effect on medical income, with the loss to hospitals estimated to be somewhere between $320 billion to $325 billion. Now that people are receiving vaccines at speed and the rate of infection is slowing, medical facilities can begin to work on regaining some of that lost income and treating those patients who may have chronic conditions or have developed one after overcoming COVID.

Normal, but not normal

Just because everything is opening up again doesn’t mean that everyone shouldn’t be alert to the potential for new variants of the virus. Like ‘flu and colds, the COVID virus mutates, and there is always the risk that the next outbreak could be just as virulent. Keeping social distancing, minimizing queuing, and ensuring adequate ventilation are practical ways to reduce risk to staff and patients. However, technology has a part to play too.

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RightPatient has been improving the patient experience for several hospitals

Remote consultations save time, effort, the patient’s money, and improve the patient experience

Telehealth, the use of virtual or remote appointments rather than in-person consultations, has become popular for first consultations, initial triaging, counseling, and any discussion where actual hands-on physical examination is not required. For some people, it may be mentally less stressful to undertake healthcare appointments in this fashion. For others, it may be simpler and quicker, removing the need for time off work or lengthy journeys. Using telehealth the professional can easily work out which patients to call in for an in-person examination and who simply needs a new prescription or a referral to further care. Telehealth can take the form of a telephone call or video consultation, so most patients should be able to start their treatment pathway virtually. The reduced numbers of patients attending the facility will lower the likelihood of infection and reduce risk to staff and those patients who are clinically more vulnerable to the virus.

The public’s awareness of and engagement with healthcare staff has increased due to the pandemic. More people have been coming into contact with a wide variety of medical professionals as a result of the events of the last year. These people are not just those infected with the virus, they are members of the public who have struggled with loneliness and isolation, mental health issues, grief and loss, as well as those whose domestic arrangements were not suited to extended shelter-in-place requirements.

For many of these people, a remote solution is easier than an in-person visit. Actually leaving the house may be impossible for some, depending on their circumstances. It may be safer for them to remain at home, to have their medication delivered to them, and not to put their long-term health at risk by attending hospital in person. Hospital-acquired infections are a big risk to immunocompromised patients, and after a year of keeping themselves safe, they may be reticent about venturing out too far.

Touchless biometric patient identification solutions such as RightPatient can help healthcare providers ensure that they are treating accurate patients. Because RightPatient is biometric, patient identification is visually by camera rather than confirming answers to questions – it helps improve the patient experience during both virtual and in-person visits.

RightPatient can help healthcare providers treat their patients with less disruption and lower risk to the patients. The providers are still paid for their time and expertise, but the patient avoids an in-person visit unless an examination or procedure is indicated. That’s more convenient all around.

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Professional Patients Are One of the Overlooked Issues in Modern Clinical Trials

Clinical trials and professional patients – we’ve been talking about them for quite some time now and how fraudsters are one of the overlooked issues in modern clinical trials. While most enrolled patients are strongly vetted and their backgrounds are thoroughly checked, we’ve already seen many times that the information they provide isn’t always accurate and how these fraudsters slip through the cracks and make it into the trials. However, we’ve got more stories that demonstrate how professional patients exist in trials.

That being said, let’s take a look at a few more studies regarding professional patients and how ensuring positive patient identification can prevent duplicate test subjects in clinical trials.

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Modern clinical trials are vulnerable to professional patients.

Stories from an expert about one of the critical issues in modern clinical trials

COO of Verified Clinical Trials, Kerri Weingard, stated that out of all the patients that apply to participate in U.S. trials, those who falsify information or violate criteria range between 14% – 25%.

How do they qualify?

Most of these fraudulent applicants’ actions are quite similar to those of professional patients. According to Ms. Weingard, a few of these individuals enroll in studies for specific diseases and even tamper with their medical history to participate in other trials either subsequently or simultaneously. Some claim that they have conditions in one trial, and they don’t have them in others! Quite a simple example would be a person who enrolls in a trial for heart disease and says that they have the condition. After enrolling successfully and completing the trial, they will alter their medical history and enroll in another study claiming that they have no medical conditions.

Ms. Weingard also says that this is most common with CNS (central nervous system) trials. For instance, diseases such as panic disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression cannot be detected objectively – research teams have to rely on the symptoms reported or demonstrated by the patients. Professional patients take advantage of this and exaggerate or falsify their symptoms to enroll in the trial. Moreover, as many of them are in it for the money, they go to other trials and state that they don’t have such symptoms. All in all, their symptoms are dependent on the requirements of the trial and they have the ability to pull off the deception in many cases.

More numbers that show duplicate study subjects

Ms. Weingard also presented a study at the American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology meeting – it focused on professional patients, was conducted for three years, and included 113 CNS trials. The total population was exactly 10,092 individuals and there were 498 inclusion or exclusion protocol violations, out of which 91 violated the washout period, 45 tried to qualify for an entirely different study at the same site and 25 at other sites, and 42 were red-flagged for trying to “dual enroll” in more than one study simultaneously.

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Eliminate the participation of professional patients in clinical trials.

One thing is pretty clear – professional study subjects are one of the crucial issues in modern clinical trials, and a robust solution is needed to prevent them. One of the feasible ways is ensuring accurate patient identification with RightPatient – more on that later.

Another study states professional patients are a headache!

Dr. Thomas Shiovitz and his team conducted a study to determine the magnitude of the “professional patient” issue, and its title uses humor to express that professional patients are a headache in migraine trials.

Out of 2192 subjects who applied for the trials, around 19% attempted to register in a different site within 18 months. From this group, 24% of the subjects attempted to enroll in a different migraine trial and the rest of them (76%) tried to enroll in studies involving schizophrenia, depression, or even as healthy test subjects. 

While many agree that some professional patients are dangerous, they argue that others are naive and don’t know the rules and regulations about participating in such trials. For instance, they’re provided with endless pages of terms and conditions, and many of them don’t even read the entire document before they sign up. As a result, they don’t know how they might affect other trials if they enroll in the subsequent ones consecutively or simultaneously. This is perhaps one of the reasons why professional patients are one of the ignored issues in modern clinical trials.

However, regardless of the different perspectives, professional study subjects do harm the efficacy of clinical trials and might cause them to be halted, delayed, or even prevent them from proceeding to the subsequent phases because research results are skewed and contain inaccurate information.

RightPatient prevents one of the critical issues of modern clinical trials

The participation of professional patients in clinical trials must be prevented at all costs – something our touchless patient identification platform can achieve efficiently. 

RightPatient is the definitive patient identification platform used by responsible U.S. healthcare providers – it red flags fraudsters when they attempt to access care unlawfully. The platform can prevent professional patients in clinical trials as well. A patient won’t be able to enroll in the same trial twice, and if the information is shared across sites, they will be red-flagged when they try to enroll in the other sites.

Contact us now to learn more about how RightPatient can help protect the integrity of your trials effectively and efficiently.

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When it Comes to Clinical Trial Challenges, Professional Patients are a Real Headache

“Professional patients”, “duplicate test subjects”, whichever term you want to give them, are exceptionally dangerous and are one of the understated clinical trial challenges. Not only are they a danger to themselves, but they also put other patients in the trial at risk. Moreover, their involvement threatens the integrity of the trial(s) – research results are skewed significantly and that can cause effective medicine to be unapproved by regulatory bodies, generating billions in losses.

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RightPatient protects the integrity of clinical trials by preventing professional patients.

If you’ve been following our latest series of blog posts closely, you’d know what we’re talking about. Even if you’re not, that’s not a problem, because we’ll be covering more on professional patients in this article. Let’s take a closer look at how they get into the trials, some stats that show how common these duplicate subjects are, how helping them has become a job, and how they can be prevented from trials with positive patient identification using RightPatient.

Just another tale that shows one of the overlooked clinical trial challenges

In a previous article, we’ve talked about different tales of professional patients in clinical trials, why it’s difficult to detect them in specific cases, and how being vigilant might help in rare cases.

A PI who dug deeper after experiencing professional patients firsthand

The gist of it is that in the case of some trials, it’s virtually impossible to detect the severity of the conditions via objective medical tests. As a result, research teams have to rely on self-reporting of the symptoms, and in some cases, these reports are exaggerated by professional patients. A PI (principal investigator) even witnessed that a professional patient participated in around seven trials in twelve months! Another PI remained vigilant and noticed that the patients lied by looking at their medical records – let’s continue from this one.

A study on the involvement of professional patients in clinical trials was conducted by Eric Devine, Ph.D., and fellow researchers. Unfortunately, the results were quite frightening and far worse than imagined – something every sponsor, CRO, and PI must know about.

Some unnerving stats about professional patients

A whopping 75% of individuals falsified information just to participate in clinical trials, and they were involved in two or more studies just in a single year. The misinformation was regarding their health, medications, and the symptoms they faced. For instance, around 33% of them concealed medical problems, 20% concealed recreational drug use, whereas 28% concealed prescribed medications. That’s not all they uncovered – 14% of the sample falsified about having the required condition(s) whereas 25% of them overstated their symptoms to be a part of the trial(s).

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Ensure accurate patient identification and prevent professional patients in clinical trials now.

Helping others get into trials using deceitful tactics is a profession now

A crucial discovery Dr. Devine and his team made was finding the existence of a research expert who specializes in helping professional patients get into clinical trials. This “kingpin” researched and attempted to get into the study that consisted of Dr. Devine and the team because the payment was quite high. After gaining knowledge about the trial and the right answers to the questions, the individual charged others $40 to share what they needed to say and do to get into the trials.

Moreover, some individuals take up clinical trial enrollment as a profession and even maintain sites that have relevant information such as trial locations, study criteria, enrollment status, and so on. In those forums, they casually talk about how professional patients can get into clinical trials, according to Dr. Devine. In fact, organizations that check for deception are flagged by the site’s moderators, and also advise which clinical trials to skip if the patients want to enroll in a way that violates study criteria.

Professional patients are one of the lesser-known clinical trial challenges 

This is just one of the many stories of professional patients – there are far too many of these duplicate test subjects. While some of these bad actors are discovered, others, unfortunately, make it through the trials undetected, something that is far more dangerous. 

As mentioned at the beginning, not only does the presence of these bad actors put their safety in jeopardy, but it also threatens the integrity of the trials they participate in, leading to skewed results, halted or canceled trials, and billions in losses.

A potential solution to prevent duplicate study subjects

In a nutshell, professional patients must be prevented from participating. One of the most ideal ways to do so is by creating a centralized identity clearinghouse for clinical trial patients and ensure that the duplicate subjects are red-flagged whenever they try to enroll in a trial. 

Fortunately, RightPatient can help with that. A touchless biometric patient identification platform used by several leading U.S. healthcare providers, RightPatient has the experience and capabilities to prevent professional patients in clinical trials.

Contact us now to know how we can help you protect the integrity of your clinical trials and prevent delays in approvals by eliminating a crucial problem – saving millions in the process and improving the efficacy of your studies.