Palm reading the answer for patient ID?

'We have significantly reduced registration errors and lowered our duplicate medical record rate to 0.11 percent of our patient census'
By Mike Miliard
06:34 AM
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Palm reading

Offering a novel answer to a complex security challenge, Imprivata has introduced  PatientSecure, a patient identification tool that uses palm vein biometrics to link patients with their EHRs.

[See also: Imprivata acquires HT Systems, adding patient ID capabilities]

Imprivata officials make the point that 7 to 10 percent of patients, on average, are misidentified when their medical records are accessed. By scanning a patient's hand to capture its unique palm vein pattern, PatientSecure can match an individual with his or her digital record, preventing such errors – and helping improve patient safety, safeguarding against identity theft and insurance fraud and driving revenue cycle efficiency.


"As our healthcare system continues to digitize, enabling care delivery organizations to leverage a simple and secure identification platform is critical to enhancing the patient experience and addressing the growing medical identity theft and insurance fraud nationally," said David Wiener, general manager, Imprivata PatientSecure Products Group, in a press statement.

[See also: Unique patient ID problem must be solved]

This past spring, Imprivata acquired Tampa, Fla.-based HT Systems, pioneer of the PatientSecure technology, which has scanned the palms of some 22 million patients across 65 healthcare systems nationwide.

"We believe that in the next paradigm of healthcare, if you are going to have any meaningful patient engagement, being able to easily identify patients is going to be a critical component," Imprivata CEO Omar Hussain told Healthcare IT News at the time. "The minute records become electronic, the biggest challenge you have is duplicates."

The new Imprivata PatientSecure aims to fix that problem – in the process, making the patient check-in and registration process faster while offering patients better security. When deployed with a self-service kiosk, Imprivata officials say, the tool can also help improve patient satisfaction and HCAHPS scores, helping hospitals' meaningful use targets.

"Since deploying our palm vein biometric identification platform, we have significantly reduced registration errors and lowered our duplicate medical record rate to 0.11 percent of our patient census, which is 80 times better than the national average," said Craig Richardville, chief information officer of Carolinas Healthcare System, in a statement.

"Along with garnering positive feedback and compliance from patients using the solution we have also experienced improvement in our front-end patient registration process, which has enhanced our overall revenue cycle management operation," he added.