Biometric patient identification is the most accurate way to positively identify a patient. Biometric patient identification comes in a variety of forms ranging from facial and voice recognition to finger prints, palm vein scans and retinal and iris scans. Each method has its pros and cons, but there is no disagreement that it is a far superior way to achieve absolute patient identity over the current methods of demographic patient identification.
The reasons why biometric patient identification is superior:
1. Increased patient safety
Because you have absolute assurance that you have the right patient, you can reliably access each patient’s complete medical history. The Joint Commission’s listed improving the accuracy of patient identification as the #1 National Patient Safety Goal for hospitals in 2016.
2. Prevent duplicate medical records
Because biometric patient identification absolutely identifies a patient, there is no doubt that the right patient has been selected. Duplicate errors are almost impossible to create. The average cost of correcting a duplicate error is about $100. HIMSS estimates that most hospitals have a 8%-12% duplicate error rate. A healthcare facility with 500,000 registrations a year and a 10% error rate could be spending as much as $5 million dollars a year correcting duplicate records.
3. Eliminate medical identity theft
Patients can only claim one identity after enrollment. On repeat visits the patient will be identified by their biometric, preventing medical identify fraud. The Ponemon Institute has been doing surveys of medical identity theft over the past five years. They have found that it is increasing yearly in double digits. Although not all medical identity fraud is perpetrated in person, about 20% of the time it is. Biometric patient identification could eliminate in person identity theft.
4. Reduce medical billing errors
The Ponemon Institute’s latest research indicated that patient misidentification can affect the financial side of the healthcare system as well. In their survey, hospitals stated that an average of 35 percent of all denied claims were a result of inaccurate patient identification. This represented an estimated value of over $17 million per year per hospital.
Patient misidentification also contributes to lost productivity for clinicians. The survey stated that the average clinician wastes almost 30 minutes per shift due to patient misidentification. This costs the average healthcare organization $900,000 per year in lost productivity.
5. Improve the patient experience
Healthcare consumers are now directly paying for more of their healthcare costs, both for the care itself and insurance coverage. Consumers have a growing number of choices on both the payer and the provider side. Technology can be a key factor in creating patient experience and instilling trust in the patient that their safety and security is a #1 priority. Healthcare providers can strengthen trust and brand equity with secure biometric patient identification.
6. Save your Healthcare Facility Money
Studies have shown that 30% of duplicate tests are run due to misidentification. Combine this with the cost of correcting duplicate patient records, incorrect billing and medical identity theft and there are literally millions of dollars at stake for the average healthcare facility. The Advisory Board reports that the average 250-bed hospital lost more than $7M in 2013 because of inaccurate and incomplete documentation.
Related Content: Download the Patient Identity Dilemma
Using Biometric Patient Identification
Biometrics offer a scalable solution to healthcare organizations. While traditional demographic based registration systems are reliant on people asking—and receiving— the right answers, you can achieve a high level of accuracy with biometrics systems. You can use biological characteristics like fingerprints, iris or palm vein scans, which offer you unique and accurate identification methods.
Easy and Safe for Use
The good thing about using biometrics for identification is that modern systems are built and designed to be easy and safe to use. Biometrics technology gives you accurate results with minimal invasiveness as a simple scan or a photograph is usually all that’s required. Moreover, the software and hardware can be easily used and you can have them installed without the need for excessive training.
Biometric identification is extremely quick, which is another advantage it has over other traditional security methods. A person can be identified or rejected in a matter of seconds. For those healthcare providers that understand the value of time management the use of this technology can only be beneficial to your office revenue by increasing productivity and reducing costs by eliminating fraud and waste.
User Friendly Systems
You can have biometrics systems installed rather easily and after that, they do their job quickly, reliably, and uniformly. You will need only a minimum amount of training to get the system operational.
Getting started with Biometric Patient Identification
Privasent offers secure biometric patient identification coupled with a smartcard. The smartcard adds an additional layer of security to the system and acts as a branded token for the healthcare facility. If you would like to learn more about how you can save money and provide absolute healthcare identification with biometrics, request a consultation.