June 17, 2011

Goodbye Clipboard, Hello Patient Palm Scanning At NYU

New York University Medical Center uses vein recognition technology linked to an EHR system to streamline registration, guard against duplication, fraud.

By Neil Versel InformationWeek
June 17, 2011 10:55 AM

17 Leading EHR Vendors
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: 17 Leading EHR Vendors
Patients at New York University Langone Medical Center no longer have to fill out the dreaded clipboard with their medical history or insurance data each time they come in for care because the Manhattan academic medical center has switched to palm recognition technology to identify and authenticate its patients.

NYU Langone said this week that it went live June 5 across its enterprise with a product called PatientSecure, from Tampa-based vendor HT Systems, that scans the veins in the palm with near-infrared light. Citing statistics from the vendor, Dr. Bernard A. Birnbaum, senior vice president, vice dean, and chief of hospital operations at NYU Langone, said vein recognition is 100 times more accurate than fingerprinting. "It had the highest accuracy and highest usability of any biometric technology we looked at."

More Healthcare Insights
White Papers

Strategy Guide to Business Risk Mitigation for Healthcare
Business Intelligence for Healthcare: Actionable Insights for Business Decision Makers

Sponsored by:
Wizdom Music’s new SampleWiz Tool Will Be Available For iPAD and iPhone in Days.Wizdom Music’s new SampleWiz tool is a tricked-out sampling app for the iPad, but you can jam with it, too.For musicians, podcasters, voice over artists, the iRig Microphone is an excellent mobile recording companion for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
Wizdom Music’s new SampleWiz Tool Will Be Available For iPAD and iPhone in Days.

The technology is linked to NYU's new Epic Systems electronic health records system, which also came online June 5 when the organization turned on patient registration, billing, and some ambulatory clinical documentation functions. "All sites have scanners as they come live on Epic," Birnbaum reported. That includes NYU Langone's Tisch Hospital, the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, the Hospital for Joint Diseases, and several affiliated medical practices.

NYU Langone claims to be the first medical center in the Northeast to adopt PatientSecure. HT Systems said on its website that more than 50 hospitals and hundreds of physician offices and clinics use the PatientSecure system, which has been on the market since 2007.

Weak authentication leaves your organization open to sophisticated hackers.
Implement strong security that is easy to use.

"The most important reason why we did this was for patient safety," Birnbaum told InformationWeek Healthcare . The medical center introduced digital photography to the registration process at the same time the biometric technology went live, taking pictures of patients when they register for the first time on the Epic EHR so staff can visually identify patients.

He said the photos will prevent clinicians from entering information into the wrong patient's record, which could happen when a caregiver enters a room where the EHR is open to another patient's chart. The system also helps prevent identity theft and other fraud.

The scanning and photography lengthen the initial registration process, but it saves time on follow-up visits because patients only have to re-scan their palms to bring up all their information, then verify their date of birth. There is no more need to keep Social Security numbers to identify patients, Birnbaum said.

"You just put your palm on the scanner and you're done registering at your doctor's office, no clipboard, no hassle of paperwork to check in, plus, it's absolutely secure," patient Michael Baldwin said in an NYU Langone press release. "It's immediate and instantaneous."

Rest of article

Posted by staff at June 17, 2011 11:24 AM