Healthcare & Healthy Living

Why is a proper patient identification system needed in hospitals?

In their bid for accurate patient identification, healthcare providers have transformed long ago by opting for biometric patient identification, and the result has been astounding.

There are a lot of biometric modalities available like iris scanning, fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, and so on. These are used widely in many industries like airports, the government, as well as banks. The best part is that these ensure security via proper patient identification. However, the one place in which biometrics is sorely needed is in the healthcare system. 

Is Proper Patient Identification System Achievable?

Accurate Patient Identification System - Why is a proper patient identification system needed in hospitals?
The question as always been on the importance of a proper patient identification system in hospitals. This article explores the benefits of having an accurate patient identification system in the healthcare industry.

Healthcare providers have transformed long ago by going for EHR (Electronic Health Record) systems. However, accurate patient identification is not ensured entirely since there are millions of records. These records can have common names, such as “Samuel Jackson,” and the hospital staff may get confused during identification about which Samuel Jackson came in for the treatment. Duplicate records are created as well, which occurs when a new medical record is made for a patient who has an existing record within the database. All these produce lots of inaccurate patient identification issues such as patient mix-ups, medical identity fraud, as well as dirty data

Using biometric patient identification can help with the identification process- it eliminates the hospital staff from going through hundreds of records. It thus reduces the risk of any new duplicate medical record. Labeling patients with wristbands is risky as well, as one printing mistake or a mix-up can be fatal for the patients as well as the hospitals. The best way to positively identify the patients is by using biometrics since it has the highest level of accuracy- each patient has unique biometric data that can never be mixed up with another individual. 

It also causes a lot of financial problems for both patients as well as healthcare providers. Healthcare providers suffer losses in millions due to denied claims. Not only that, but bills are sent out to wrong patients, treatments are provided to the wrong patients, and worst of all, some patients may face fatal consequences, severely hampering patient safety. All these can cause lawsuits, and thus, losses. These could have been mitigated had the patients been properly identified in the first place.

Healthcare Providers Now Use Biometric Patient identification System
A biometric patient identification system mitigates the challenges healthcare providers face oftentimes due to misappropriation of patients’ data.

Is there any such solution? 

A lot of health systems are experiencing accurate patient identification. Reputed healthcare providers like Terrebonne General Medical Center and Northwell Health in New York are using RightPatient– a biometric patient identification platform. RightPatient provides both fingerprint scanning as well as iris scanning; however, for better accuracy and patient safety, the above health systems chose iris scanning.

It is quite simple- a patient only needs to get their biometric data scanned during registration. It adds the biometric data to the patients’ EHRs. Once they are registered, nobody else can come and claim the registered patient’s record, eliminating the chance of medical identity theft. Also, whenever the patient comes in the future, they only need to get their biometrics scanned- no Social Security Number or proof of identity is required, reducing further hassles and improving the patient experience significantly. It is much more convenient than any other form of patient identification since the identity cannot be duplicated in any way. Also, one advantage of health systems who are using RightPatient’s iris scanning is that they are also ensuring hygiene for all since it is a non-contact modality. The patients do not touch the iris scanner, and neither do the hospitals, eliminating any risk of diseases via physical contact.

The health systems which have been using RightPatient have reported promising results such as improved patient safety, accurate patient identification, improved revenue cycle, as well as reduced denied claims. These lead to reduced losses for healthcare providers- ensuring that patients are being identified accurately and quickly. In the end, RightPatient improves the healthcare providers’ ratings in the process as well as their bottom line. 

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