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

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

How Providers Can Help Eliminate Medical Identity Fraud

Per the Ponemon Institute, medical identity fraud occurs when someone uses an individual’s name and personal identity to fraudulently receive medical service, prescription drugs, and goods. It also includes attempts to commit fraudulent billing. Based on the Ponemon Institute 2013 study, an estimated 1.84 million adult-aged Americans or close family members at some point in time became victims of medical identity fraud. An estimated 2.3 million individuals were impacted by medical identity theft in 2014, a 21.7% increase over the numbers from 2013. Medical identity fraud is continuing to increase every year. How would I know if a patient has become a victim? Per the Federal Trade Commission, victims may: Get a bill for medical services they didn’t receive Be contacted by a debt collector about medical debt they don’t owe See medical collection notices on their credit report that they don’t recognize Find erroneous listings of office visits or treatments on their explanation of benefits (EOB) Be told by their health plan that they’ve reached their limit on benefits Be denied insurance because their medical records show a condition they don’t have Impact of Medical Identity Fraud on Patients Medical identity fraud can have severe and long lasting effects on patients. Here are some anecdotal examples of the consequences of medical identity fraud: A retired postal worker from Houston was arrested for purchasing over 1700 opioid drugs after her wallet containing her driver’s license and health insurance card was stolen at a gas station. Fortunately, she had reported the theft to the police and had a police report. In Utah, a pregnant woman stole a medical identity to gain medical care. When the baby was born with drugs in its system, the department of social [...]

By | 2017-10-25T17:44:32+00:00 Wednesday, March 15, 2017|Categories: Absolute Identity|Tags: , |0 Comments