These Are 4 Common Causes of Patient Identity Errors to Watch Out For

Last year, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) found that, on average, 10 percent of a health organization’s patient records are duplicates. Why is this statistic so disturbing? It means your organization is setting itself up to lose revenue. With any percentage of duplicates, the number of patient records in your system will not match the actual number of patients you serve. This skews patient population health metrics and impacts care plan compliance and overall patient outcomes. Not only does it cause revenue problems, but the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) includes objectives for reducing duplicate records in its nationwide interoperability roadmap. This year, duplicate record rates are to be reduced from 2 percent, to 0.5 percent by 2020, and less than 0.1 percent by 2024. A John’s Hopkins study titled, “Implementing and Sustaining Improvement in Healthcare” found that 92% of patient identity errors occur at the time of the registration process. The registration process is understandably complex and requires great attention to detail. However, a busy waiting room, unfamiliar temporary staff, or inadequate workflow procedures can result in duplicate records or complete patient misidentification. Common Sources of Patient Identity Errors 1. Process flaws within an organization Many health organizations simply ask for verbal verification of name and birthday or photo identification, resources which can easily be obtained. Process flaws that allow the creation of duplicate records also pose risks to patient health. Relying on this misinformation from staff makes patient identity susceptible to human error, often enabling misidentification and medical identity theft. 2. Limited training on the importance of patient identification for new or temporary staff The John’s Hopkins study determined that inadequate emphasis was placed on the process of patient [...]

By | 2017-10-25T18:16:34+00:00 Tuesday, February 13, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Ways to Keep Patients Coming Back to Your Health Facility

Running a successful healthcare facility not only requires you to provide your patients with quality health care, but also to provide them with experiences that drive patient satisfaction and retention. Unfortunately, patient retention is a major concern for many health care facilities. Just one negative experience could cause your patient not to come back, and new patient acquisition is extremely difficult and costly to attract. How can your patients gain trust in your practice? Check out these tips to help create patient retention strategies which will keep patients coming back to your healthcare facility: Create a Customer Service Training Program For Your Staff A study conducted by John Hopkins found that inadequate emphasis was placed on the process for proper patient identification within the training syllabus for registration staff. Key questions to consider include: How they are greeting patients? How are they entering the data into the system? How they are verifying the patient's identify? (Are they using more than one identifier?) What standard documents are used to identify patients? Take immediate corrective actions to ensure your registration process is standardized across your organization. Updating your customer service training curriculum will help reinforce proper patient identification steps. Make Follow-up a Standard Practice Don’t wait for patients to follow-up with you. Getting feedback from your patients is essential to understanding their experience. A simple follow-up call a few days after the patient's visit can provide the patient with an opportunity to voice any questions or concerns of their visit. By following up with your patients and asking questions you can discover how they are feeling and if they: need to schedule another appointment understand the doctor's suggestions need a prescription refill have any billing questions Asking questions can shed light [...]

By | 2017-10-25T18:03:45+00:00 Tuesday, November 28, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Are You Spending $20M per Year to Acquire New Patients?

Satisfied customers and unsatisfied customer all have one thing in common, they all talk, and others repeat what they say. Let’s face it, patients are customers and as healthcare professionals we have to worry not only about keeping them healthy but keeping them coming back. A Harvard Review study states that depending on what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. It makes sense: you don’t have to spend time and resources going out and finding a new patient — you just have to keep the ones you have happy. All customer oriented industries have some customer churn. In healthcare it is, called Patient Churn. That is patients who come once but do not return. This can happen for many reasons. In business in general, upwards of 70% of people who take their business elsewhere do so because they perceive an attitude of indifference. Admittedly, their perception may not have been due to a deliberate slight or discourtesy, but the result is staggering anyway. The Cost of Acquiring a New Patient The cost of acquiring a new patient can be high. Let’s say your healthcare organization is spending $2,000 for the month in marketing. These marketing efforts, produced 20 leads and converted 5 into appointments. $2,000 / 20 leads = $100 per lead. $2,000 / 5 scheduled appointments = $400 per new patient acquired. If you are a large healthcare organization with a patient churn rate of 10% annually and you see 500,000 patients annually, you could be losing as many as 50,000 patients per year. If it costs $400 to acquire a new patient, you could be spending upwards of $20M per year on marketing just to [...]

By | 2017-10-25T18:01:39+00:00 Tuesday, November 7, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

What EHR Systems Are Ready to Work With Biometric Verification?

The answer is easy – all of them. Let’s face it, no matter which one you use, EHR systems are not very user friendly. A new survey of hospital executives showed that 24 percent are conducting a major EHR system upgrade and another 21 percent are replacing their EHR at one or more sites. KPMG’s recent survey of CHIME members found that at least 38 percent of CIOs are investing in EHR optimization projects this year. They plan to spend more on EHR optimization than any other area of Health IT. One of the main reasons stated for the continued need to upgrade or optimize was that hospital staff still don’t like their EHRs. When healthcare staff compliance is an issue, it’s no wonder that patient misidentification and record issues are still so prevalent in the health industry. Could there be a way to improve compliance in the short-term, without waiting for EHR vendors to revise the systems altogether? Improving EHR Usability with Biometric Verification One way to make your EHR more efficient and user friendly is to integrate it into a patient biometric verification system. This is easily done with commonly used HL7 transactions - a feature that is available in most modern Certified EHR Technologies. Why Biometrics? Using systems like palm vein scanners (or equipment that doesn’t rely strictly on biometrics, like smart card readers) takes the pressure off of healthcare staff to: Identify the correct patient Recover the appropriate system record Detect fraudulent healthcare recipients Rigorously survey the patient as a verification method In addition to improvements to process and accuracy, biometric verification also tends to take less time. For example, registering a patient with the Privasent system takes only 25 seconds on average for returning patients. [...]

By | 2017-10-25T17:52:41+00:00 Saturday, August 12, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |0 Comments

How Health Facilities Retain More Patients with Privasent

Patient retention is a major concern for healthcare facilities, especially in major metropolitan areas where there is a lot of choice. It is more important than ever to treat your patients well and really earn their business. You want your good patients to return and to suggest you to their friends and family when someone needs a brilliant and caring physician. This involves something that many practices have forgotten altogether: customer service. Emphasizing Customer Service in Healthcare – Patient Retention Strategies Marketing: Marketing is needed to roll out new ideas and campaigns across the organization. It is difficult to retain patients that you don't have. Put your best foot forward and ensure your marketing is authentic and useful, more than directly promotional. The goal should be to position yourself as a resource in the community, and to cultivate a community of raving fans around your practice. Remember, marketing is a service. The more patients you reach, the more people you can serve. Don't think it is important? When a person successfully searches online for a practice, it results in a phone call almost 70 percent of the time. The telephone: When a patient calls to schedule an appointment, it is always best to have a real person (with a friendly tone and a smile) answer the phone. In some clinics, it may be necessary to have an automated phone system as backup, but a live person is best. The fastest way to send a patient back to Google is to make them leave a message and wait for a return call for something as simple as scheduling an appointment. Check-in and waiting: Be sure to greet everyone arriving in your office with an open-ended question, [...]

By | 2017-10-25T17:51:20+00:00 Tuesday, July 25, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Checking in Without a Word: Why Patients Love Biometric Verification

Everyone has experienced going to the doctor’s office and having to fill out the same seemingly endless forms, having to provide your driver's license, your insurance card and other forms of photo ID. Imagine what it would be like to just walk into a doctor’s office or hospital, place your hand on a scanner and have the registrar greet you with a pleasant, “Good Morning Mrs. Smith, glad to see you again.” It isn’t just a dream, it can be a reality if your healthcare facility employees a biometric positive patient registrationsystem. The idea of “checking in without a word” is one of the main reasons patients love biometric verification. It is quick, easy and absolutely identifies you as the right person.  Receptionists will always know they are speaking to the right patient. By making your patients feel less stressed at the point of registration, they start out with a great first impression of your health care facility. You have demonstrated that you really care, not only about their safety, but about not having to ask them the same questions every time they visit. Misidentification at registration can be a major problem for healthcare facilities and have consequences for the patients. There are several reasons this happens and the result is the need to review all your identification documents. With biometric registration, all these concerns are eliminated because you know absolutely you are speaking to the right patient. Reasons for Patient Misidentification The 2016 National Patient Misidentification Report from the Ponemon Institute identifies that following reasons for patient misidentification: Incorrect patient identification at registration: 63 percent Time pressure when treating patients: 60 percent Insufficient employee/clinician training and awareness: 35 percent Too many duplicate medical records in system: 34 percent Registrar errors (human [...]

By | 2017-10-25T17:50:13+00:00 Saturday, July 1, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

Understanding KPIs for Patient Retention and Satisfaction

Patient retention is a hot topic in healthcare circles these days. Patient retention is defined in the same way any successful relationship is: by having positive interactions. In business in general, upwards of 70% of people who take their business elsewhere do so because they perceive an attitude of indifference. Admittedly, their perception may not have been due to a deliberate slight or discourtesy, but the result is staggering anyway. In virtually any healthcare environment, the essential elements of interaction (improving retention and reducing attrition) are proactive steps to avoid the “indifference” message with your internal public. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs for Patient Retention) Studies have shown that it costs six or seven times more to recruit a new patient than to retain one you already have. If you are spending about $400 in marketing costs to bring on a new patient. The average annual patient churn within a healthcare system is 10%. If your facility sees 100,000 patients a year and you lose 10,000 of those patients, you could easily be spending $400,000 in marketing costs just to maintain the number of patients you have. So what leading indicators can your facility measure to analyze a patient’s risk of churn? Here are some examples: Time to complete registration Experience score with staff Annual number of visits Overall patient satisfaction score Once you’ve determined the indicators of patient churn in your facility, you can tie those back to financial KPIs which can be used to forecast churn and associated costs. For example: Patient acquisition rate Patient attrition rate Patient retention rate Cost to acquire a patient Cost to retain a patient Strategies for Enhancing Patient Retention Registration The patient experience in registration is a strong indicator of [...]

By | 2017-10-25T17:48:58+00:00 Sunday, June 25, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Choosing the Right Patient Identification Software

So, you have decided you want to increase patient safety and reduce duplicate records by purchasing patient identification software. The first hurdle in this process is determining at which point of care you are identifying your patient and which patient identification software is right for you. Fortunately, choosing the appropriate moments to perform a patient identification check is relatively simple. Prior to issuing care, confirm the patient’s identity. Checkpoints for Leveraging Patient Identification Software Patient Check-in Logically, patient identification software should be used at the point of registration or check-in, since that’s the first step in delivering care. This is imperative to the patient’s safety for two main reasons. First, the patient needs to be sent to the right physician, specialist, or department depending on their condition. The second reason has more to do with their financial security, as registration serves as the first line of defense against medical identity fraud. Transfer of Care If the patient must be moved between hospital or clinic wings, exam rooms, or to an entirely separate facility within the health system, their identity should be verified. Because the patient is usually being transferred to the supervision of a different clinician, there needs to be crystal clear communication about what the next steps are in the patient’s care process. Relaying messages by word of mouth can be dangerous and result in never events and other care mismanagement, so it’s best to rely on the clarity of notes within the patient’s medical record. By making a patient identification check, providers can be more confident that they’re pulling the correct record and issuing the appropriate treatment. Patient Discharge When the patient has completed their appointment or treatment cycle at the care facility, there may [...]

By | 2017-10-25T17:48:02+00:00 Tuesday, May 30, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |0 Comments

The #1 Rule to Follow If You Want to Identify Patients Correctly

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Patient misidentification shouldn’t be an issue in a modern healthcare setting. With the amount of technology and data maintenance resources found in the average medical practice, how is that we lose track of patient names? And how can we stop doing it? Here’s a new rule to follow: stop relying exclusively on patient demographics. The Problem with Demographic Patient Identifiers To put it simply, there’s too much room for error when it comes demographic information. These errors come from both sides of the desk. Patients may provide too little detail, or a nickname in place of their birthname, or some other variation on their personal information. Their address may have changed, or they neglected to update other account information. Intake staff, on the other hand, can make general data entry errors like typos, or breeze over information updates when they’re in a hurry. If you’re trying to identify patients correctly, reliability and consistency are the most important components of the process. EHR implementation has helped to address those factors, but record creation in an EHR system doesn’t guard against errors like record duplication. While a single person having two records isn’t as severe as completely swapping their information for someone else’s, it still can pose severe problems for administering care. One of those records may contain notations about drug allergies, for example, while the other does not. Instead of relying on easily-bungled background information about the patient, practices should begin incorporating a more unique and consistent resource: the patients themselves. Biometrics, Possession, & Patient Identity “Using the patient as their own verification method” is kind of an odd way to phrase it, but it’s a widely accepted form of authentication. [...]

By | 2017-10-25T17:42:31+00:00 Tuesday, February 28, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Malta Systems Receives Patent for Key Privasent Healthcare Technology

Malta Systems, a healthcare technology company focused on unique, absolute, and interoperable healthcare identity, announced the approval of their patent titled, "Anonymous authentication using backup biometric information," US patent number 9,213,818. Malta Systems’ CEO, Don Brown is pleased with the approval of the patent. “By implementing Privasent’s patented technology, providers have an identity foundation necessary to link patient EHRs precisely throughout the continuum of care — regardless of where that care is provided — and improve both patient satisfaction and care. With the patient as the focal point, hospital clinical, financial, medical records and technology teams can work with the Malta team to demonstrate the clinical and financial benefits of absolute healthcare identity,” Brown said. Privasent’s patented solution combines smart card, biometric and security technologies to produce a unique, absolute and interoperable identity that can scale to a national patient identifier. This unique identity can only be used to access healthcare services thus protecting the patient’s privacy and identity integrity. Patients are registered in the Privasent network with the issuance of a Privasent card and the capture of a palm-vein pattern. Each time a patient checks-in for care, Privasent validates their identity and the electronic health record (EHR) associated with the identity. Healthcare providers can search Privasent to identify other EHRs associated with this identity throughout Privasent’s network of providers and determine which must be accessed to provide relevant medical history for the patient’s care. The awarded patent covers managing the use of such a physical token — in this case a smartcard — together with a biometric identifier — here, a simple palm-vein scan — to uniquely and quickly identify every patient. The newly awarded patent is essential to helping Malta Systems provide absolute [...]

By | 2017-10-25T17:37:51+00:00 Thursday, February 2, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments