Involve These 4 People in Setting Your Patient Care Plan

Regardless of how busy the practice is, one thing is always consistent: patients need your attention. Every ailment needs a treatment that is going to help the patient heal and best meet their needs. Part of what separates a happy and fast-healing patient from the rest is having an appropriate patient care plan. Here are some of the most important people to include when setting up a care plan: Primary Care Provider Doctors have the longest history with the patient. In some care relationships, the primary doctor can remember patient details without even referring to their chart. Because they have such deep knowledge into the patient’s background, they should almost always be involved, at least for final approval of treatment. Nursing Staff or Nursing Director For inpatient care, a lot of the work is going to be executed by the nursing staff. Drug administration, regular vitals checks, and countless other activities that ensure the patient is safe and being treated appropriately. Nurses often rely on nursing care plans, which are standardized documents that help staff recognize and document nursing diagnoses. They also contain specific treatment regimens for the respective diagnoses, and are essentially the “game plan” for best relieving symptoms of the patient’s condition. As care is administered, it’s important for the assigned staff to perform proper patient verification at each stage described in the patient care plan, lest it result in a potentially devastating error. Patient Since they’re receiving the treatment, patients should be actively engaged by their care providers. They may not be able to make a clinical self-assessment, but they will have more information about their condition, personal history, and the circumstances leading to their condition than anyone else. The American Academy of [...]

By | 2017-10-25T18:18:55+00:00 Tuesday, March 6, 2018|Categories: Absolute Identity|Tags: , |0 Comments

Maintaining Patient Loyalty in the Age of Consumerism

For years, health insurers have sold their plans almost exclusively to employers. Today, only 48 percent of healthcare payer customers get their insurance from their employer. 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. Increasing transparency is making it much easier for them to effectively comparison shop. Relatively undifferentiated product offerings for newly empowered customers will be forced to compete primarily on price and face very low barriers to customer turnover. As out-of-pocket costs rise, consumers expect an experience that is comparable to what they get in other sectors. Health plans and providers understand that they cannot afford to ignore this trend and must embrace it or be left behind. Marketing is needed to rolling out new ideas and campaigns across the organization, but supporting cross-functional technical change is an area of leadership for CIOs who are accustomed to building new skills across geographic areas and technical processes. CMOs understand changing customer needs and the opportunity that creates to boost sales, but the CIO is the only one who can bring those new solutions and modes of commerce and customer interaction to market for the company. Neither technology nor marketing changes alone can effectively address these challenges. We believe that technology will be the catalyst for true differentiation and brand loyalty. The simpler the process, the more likely the customer will buy and repurchase. Adding innovative technologies like biometric patient identity, combined with a smartcard, can be seen not only a clear differentiator but relays to the healthcare consumer that their safety is a top priority of the [...]

Use of Smartcards for Healthcare

Smart cards for healthcare are well established in France, Germany and Taiwan, but they have received minimal attention in the United States. Benefits of a smartcard include faster registration of patients, absolute healthcare identity, portability of medical records and potential data support for existing electronic health records. History of the use of smartcards for healthcare outside the U.S. The history of large scale deployment of health cards in the healthcare sector goes back to the late eighties/early nineties, when France and Germany each started national programs on the nationwide introduction of health insurance cards. Since then, other nations, such as Slovenia and Belgium, have also introduced health cards, and various projects have been started all over Europe over the last 10 years or so. The objective of the European Commission's efforts is not the harmonization of the health systems but the achieving more cooperation and more convergence among the health systems and the finding answers to the open questions concerning cross border healthcare according to increasing patient’s mobility in Europe. France has more than 45 million people using smartcards for healthcare and almost all German citizens have and use one of these cards. Defining the Technology When used in healthcare, smart cards contain medical data for the patient they represent. Rather than a paper chart or an electronic health record stored and transported over the Internet, this wallet-sized card contains a computer chip loaded with pertinent medical information. The chip interacts with a computer system to make stored health information available. Smartcards in Healthcare in the United States Rather than actually carrying healthcare information, smartcards in the US have been used for identity authentication. The smartcards could be used to manage billing to various health-insurance companies [...]

The Next Generation of Biometric Identification

First generation biometric devices are showing up everywhere these days from your smartphone to your gym. These devices can authenticate a user on the spot and let them have access to their phone or into their gym. They provide a moderate level of security to a device or a place that doesn’t require a high level of security. Both finger prints and facial recognition software have been easily fooled with high quality photographs and even Silly Puddy. For access to information with a medium level of sensitivity, this level of security is probably enough. For access to information which requires a higher level of security, like medical records, you really need a next generation biometric. A next generation biometric combines the physical biometric, like a palm vein scan, with a smartcard. This combination prevents a bad actor from fooling the software because palm vein scans cannot be duplicated and the smartcard has to be used in addition to the person’s palm.  This increases the security of the system dramatically. Incorrect identification in a medical setting could be devastating. It could lead to merging your record with another person’s record. This could lead to improper medical diagnosis, confusion over allergies and being given the wrong medication. Your safety as a patient and your responsibility as a provider requires the due diligence a next generation biometric provides. Using a first generation biometric identification system in a medical setting is like choosing a flip-phone over a smart phone. Which would you prefer having in your pocket? Learn about next generation biometrics and how they can help identify patients in your medical setting at

Medicare’s Use of Smartcards for Identification

The Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) General Accounting Office (GAO) completed a study on the use of smartcards to prevent fraud in Medicare. Their findings were that the use of smartcards would completely or partially prevent 22% of Medicare fraud, which in their minds did not support the cost or inconvenience of implementing a smartcard program. They stated most Medicare fraud (about 68% of the cases) included more than one scheme with 61% including two to four schemes. The most common health care fraud schemes were related to fraudulent billing, such as billing for services that were not provided and billing for services that were not medically necessary. They determined that having a smartcard would not have prevented these types of fraud because the patient was present and did actually receive some type of care. The question that the HHS GAO study did not consider was patient safety. I realize there is a lot of Medicare fraud, that it is a great burden to our government, reducing the amount of funding available to support the Medicare program, but patient safety is also an important concern. The lack of standards for patient identification at the federal and state levels compromises patient safety and escalates health care costs. According to Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), 8-14% of Electronic Health Records (EHR) have patient identity errors. The risk of an identity error increases 5% every time a record is shared among providers. Simply said, a physician relying on the wrong EHR and medical history due to an identity error can make a costly, if not deadly, decision. Having a smartcard, especially one paired with a biometric identifier like a pal- vein scan, would provide an absolute [...]

Why Palm-Vein Scans are Better for Healthcare than Fingerprints

Fingerprints have been used for identification of individuals for the last hundred years and that is part of the problem with them. Getting your fingerprints taken is associated with law enforcement and having done something wrong. When you go to the doctor, it is essential that they know “you are the real you,” but if you are at the hospital, you usually feel bad enough already without being treated like a criminal. Fingerprints have the problem of being annoyingly unreliable and easily damaged. During winter months, for example, when the air is particularly dry, many fingerprint scanners have trouble reading fingerprints and numerous scans need to be performed to get an accurate reading. Palm-vein scanning as a biometric authentication method has also been around a while, but not as long as fingerprinting. The process identifies an individual by taking a picture of the vein pattern in your palm and converting it to a mathematical representation, that is encrypted and stored. Like fingerprints, the vein pattern of your hand is unique to you—and only you—but is not as easily damaged by everyday life. During authentication, the palm-vein image is captured, converted again and compared against the stored template of the user. Vein recognition technology is secure because the authentication data exists inside the body and therefore is very difficult to forge. It is also highly accurate. In Japan, palm-vein scanners have been used for consumer banking identification for the last 10 years. Additionally, palm-vein scanning products are also being used for door security, login authentication and other applications. Here in the United States, we are beginning to use them in healthcare settings for unique patient identification. Palm-vein scanning easily integrates into the registration process and provides low cost, [...]

Congress looking at Smartcards for Medicare Recipients

Last March the General Accounting Office provided Congress with a study on the Potential Uses of Electronically Readable Cards for Medicare Beneficiaries and Providers.  Congress had asked for the study because currently Medicare recipients have paper cards which display Social Security Numbers, making them vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. Congress was asked to investigate the following questions for the report. What are the different features and functions of electronic readable cards? What are the pros and cons of using electronic readable cards for Medicare? What steps would be required by CMS and Medicare providers need to take to implement the cards? What are the lessons learned from the other countries who have implemented electronic readable cards for healthcare? The following is a synopsis of what the report found. CMS could use electronically readable cards for several purposes: Authenticating beneficiary and provider presence at the point of care Electronically exchanging beneficiary medical information Electronically conveying beneficiary identity and insurance information to providers There are two types of electronically readable cards, those with a magnetic strip or bar codes and those with a computer chip, called smartcards. Although both types have the capacity to store beneficiary and insurance information, the smartcards provide more rigorous authentication and security against fraud. Potentially presenting a card at the point of card could reduce certain types of Medicare fraud, but they felt it would not eliminate fraud as there would be legitimate reasons when the card could not be presented. As of May 2014, CMS was aware of 284,000 Medicare beneficiary numbers that had been compromised and potentially used to submit fraudulent claims. Authenticating providers at the point of care could potentially limit fraud schemes in which individuals or companies [...]

How Smart Cards Support Meaningful Use

The Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Care Record (EHR) Incentive Programs provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. However, the challenge is not simply the implementation of electronic health records, but meaningful use of them, which entails a host of additional requirements for new and existing technologies in the healthcare, security and information technology industries. The U.S. government’s Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act (part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or ARRA) has specific meaningful use criteria requiring all healthcare entities to use certifiable technology that has the ability to transform healthcare information into a standardized, electronic, accessible, readable and usable format. The criteria also require healthcare data to be kept confidential, private and secure, accurate, shareable with patients as well as providers, mobile and exchangeable, and readily available. Smart card technology and smart card-based systems can aid in meeting these requirements. Smart card technology and smart card-based systems meet a number of criteria for meaningful use: Smart cards augment the security of EMRs/EHRs by providing strong authentication which corresponds to at least Level 3 Assurance of the OMB’s 04-04 Memorandum. Smart cards can carry PKI certificates which provide the highest level of trust identity management for data interchange across networks. Federal standards are in place for identity verification and data access and security which use smart cards (the FIPS 201 Personal Identity Verification (PIV) standard for Federal employee and contractor identification cards). Smart card software is commercially available that can improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare delivery while improving care coordination and data access. Smart [...]

By | 2016-02-03T20:30:47+00:00 Tuesday, June 17, 2014|Categories: Smart Card Tech|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Nine Reasons Healthcare CFOs Should Love Smart Cards

Healthcare CFOs have a lot to worry about these days. They need to balance both rising healthcare cost and rising technology costs.  The challenge is not only to secure the funding for new technology, but also to weigh the potential benefits of new and emerging technology against the costs. Serious consideration must be given to the consequences of technology adoption for legacy systems, life-cycle costs, and long-term technology evolution. Over the past few years, smart card use in the healthcare sector worldwide has grown significantly. Current programs focus on patient identification: streamlining admissions, managing payments, and moving patient data from point to point. Smart cards are portable, secure, and can be leveraged to create closer patient alignments, generate higher patient satisfaction levels, and increase revenue for the healthcare issuer. Smart card technology is a reliable and proven solution that has had decades of use in other industries and is now making its mark on healthcare. Here are nine reasons for healthcare CFOs to love smart cards. Smart cards: Reduce cost. Improve patient identification and workflow. Reduce claims denials and increase revenue capture. Provide authenticated and authorized access to healthcare information. Assist with compliance to HIPAA privacy and security requirements. Improve facility and network security. Provide immediate access to life-saving information. Improve patient and physician satisfaction. Provide support for a national health information network. The Smart card alliance documented the benefits of Smart cards in 2009, yet hospitals across the nation have been slow to embrace the technology. Smart cards linked with biometrics could provide security and cost savings across the healthcare environment.  You can download the entire Smart card Alliance white paper here. To find out more about using smart cards with biometrics check out [...]

5 Reasons Smart Cards are Good for Healthcare

Healthcare organizations worldwide are implementing smart health cards supporting a wide variety of features and applications. Smart health cards can improve the security and privacy of patient information, provide the secure carrier for portable medical records, reduce healthcare fraud, support new processes for portable medical records, provide secure access to emergency medical information, enable compliance with government initiatives and mandates, and provide the platform to implement other applications as needed by the healthcare organization. Here are five ways that smart cards can support healthcare Effective healthcare Identity management. Smart cards have been successfully used across the globe for effective patient identification in healthcare settings. Smart cards have been proven safer than magnetic strip cards because they are harder to duplicate, therefore more secure, and can hold more patient information. Supporting privacy and security requirements mandated by HIPAA. Federal standards are in place for identity verification and data access and security which use smart cards (the FIPS 201 Personal Identity Verification (PIV) standard for Federal employee and contractor identification cards). Providing the secure carrier for portable medical records. Smart card technology can help institutions manage a qualified EHR by integrating information from other external sources. Reducing healthcare fraud. Smart cards combined with biometrics can prevent healthcare fraud by requiring absolute identification at each healthcare encounter and providing a record of each time a patient has checked in for care. These verifications authenticate that the patient was present and received care eliminating the possibility of identity theft coupled with fraudulent billings. Providing secure access to emergency medical information. Smart cards can be programmed to carry medical information which can be vital in emergency situations such as prescriptions, allergies and health conditions. Read more about smart cards and healthcare [...]