Patient Identification Technology Alternatives and their Impacts

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Patient identification is a great challenge for any healthcare service provider as inaccurate patient identification causes 35% of all denied claims valued at $5 million each year, and identity theft also causes US hospitals to lose $3 million each year. On the other hand, due to medical errors from identity mix-ups, over 1000 deaths take place every day in the US. To overcome this situation hospitals are using a secondary identifier against the patients’ information but medical data theft has become another severe issue hospitals and clinics are experiencing. As a consequence, throughout the healthcare industry, an accurate and secure patient identification system is a must-have technology today.

Alternatives and Impact of Patient Identification

The use of an automated patient identification system helps to reduce the patient mix-up and data theft risk. But the question is about the accuracy of the process. In this article, we explain the different alternatives of patient identification and their impacts:

Identification using Barcode

Patient identification using a barcode is a common practice for any hospital. Where the details of the patient are recorded in an EMR system, and a barcode printed bracelet is used to identify the patient.

This process can identify the right patient against identification or barcode number. But if multiple bracelets are printed at a time and the patients have any common field of first or last name again, it will mix-up the patients. If you consider the data theft, you only need the barcode or patient identification number to get the details with a few clicks.

Identification using RFID

Radio Frequency Identification provides some additional features like fast data capture, low level of errors, etc. It can identify the patients automatically using the RFID placed on the subject using the specialized devices. This RFID tag is connected with the database and keeps the medical record updated.

Identification using RFID also works better and facilitates the identification process in many ways like high storage capacity, automatic scanning, etc. But there still remains a chance to mix-up the patients if the staffs fail to tag the exact RFID to the right patient.

Biometric Identification

Biometric identification matches the unique biological feature to identify the patient. It secures accurate ID and access to all medical data of the patient because the identifier is not transferrable. Because of this unique feature and utmost security, the global healthcare market is encouraged to adopt biometric technology for patient identification.

Using biometric technology RightPatient® facilitates the healthcare services providing effortless check-in process, dynamic interaction with the patient, seamless integration with EMR systems, and other third-party software.

Now it’s your turn to decide what you should go for? Barcode/ RFID based identification system or biometric-based? Here is a free case study of Martin Health System that shows the impacts of biometric patient identification.

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Leonardo Sam Waterson

Enthusiastic researcher and blogger working on the uses of latest technology in financial services, health care, govt. project & HRM
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Leonardo Sam Waterson

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