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5 Ways Patient Identification Addresses Patient Safety Concerns

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Healthcare in the US has been plagued with serious issues for years. Even though many might think that the healthcare system is quite advanced, issues such as the lack of price transparency, outrageous costs, the insurance system, the lack of interoperability, medical identity theft, among others, have been restricting it from reaching its full potential and providing immaculate healthcare services. However, another significant but overlooked problem is patient misidentification. While this might sound trivial, it causes patient safety issues, preventable medical errors, medical identity theft, duplicate medical records, and severely hampers patient outcomes. Keeping all that in mind, let’s see how proper patient identification in hospitals reduces patient safety concerns.

5 ways patient safety is enhanced with accurate patient identification

Ensures that the proper medical records are identified right from the start

The EDs (emergency departments) and registration desks are two of the busiest places within hospitals. Also, these are two critical places where patient safety is determined – patients’ medical records are identified when they come in for checkups or treatment. To ensure that the right treatment is provided, registrars need to identify accurate medical records. If not done so, patients are assigned wrong medical records, leading to patient safety concerns like delays in treatment, repeated lab tests, wrong medical procedures, and so on. Thus, if the caregiver uses a robust patient identification system, it will be able to ensure proper treatment right from the beginning and prevent any unwanted incidents across the continuum of care.

You might also like to read: 7 FACTS THAT PROOF HIPAA COMPLIANCE ENHANCES HEALTHCARE SECURITY

Increases efficiency, productivity, and accuracy

As previously mentioned, EDs and registration desks are critical places where patient misidentification usually takes place. Usually, a lot of time is spent searching for accurate medical records using the basic search functionalities most systems have. Other factors like common names and demographic information, tens of thousands of medical records, and the absence of a proper patient identification system just make it worse. These lead to inefficiencies and, as a result, a new record might be created – leading to wrong treatment, as the medical record will have incomplete and inconsistent information.

Fortunately, a patient identification platform like RightPatient prevents that by identifying the accurate medical record every time, improving efficiency, productivity, and accuracy, but more on that later.

Ensures patient data integrity

It’s been a long time since the majority of healthcare providers have made the jump to EHR (electronic health record) systems. Thus, patient safety hugely depends on patient data. Simply put – accurate patient data will lead to improved healthcare outcomes. If the patients are not properly identified, they are assigned the wrong medical records, leading to patient data corruption and wrong treatments. For instance, patient X gets treated with patient Y’s medical record. Not only will patient X receive the wrong treatment, but patient Y’s medical record will be compromised as well – the information within the record will consist of someone else’s data. If patients are identified accurately, then patient data integrity will be maintained, leading to enhanced patient safety and desired healthcare outcomes.

You might also like to read: BIOMETRICS TO HELP REINFORCE PATIENT MATCHING THROUGH ACCURATE PATIENT IDENTIFICATION

Prevents medical identity theft

Medical identity theft is a frequently-discussed topic in the US healthcare system. Not only does it cause financial woes for patients and caregivers, but it also compromises patient data integrity, leading to patient safety concerns. 

When a fraudster uses the stolen patient information, if the healthcare provider doesn’t have a robust patient identification platform that can prevent them in real-time, the medical record of the victim gets contaminated. For instance, the victim’s medical record will consist of the data provided by the fraudster, and unless these are rectified, the fraudster’s medical information will be used for the victim’s treatment. One wrong pill can create a series of issues for the victim – can you imagine what will happen if the victim gets treatment based on the wrong information? 

Fortunately, innovative patient identification solutions can prevent medical identity theft in real-time and protect patient data by verifying patients’ identities.

Enhances care coordination efforts

There have been a lot of talks regarding interoperability within the US healthcare system. While it was never quite accurate due to low patient match rates, the CMS has enforced a rule that dictates healthcare providers using EHR systems to support e-notifications by May of 2021. In a nutshell, the rule requires caregivers to send out real-time notifications during ADT (admission, dismissal, and transfer) events to the other caregivers of a patient to boost interoperability. While this will surely enhance care coordination efforts, without proper patient identification, providers will have the risk of sending out false alerts to the wrong caregivers. Just imagine the havoc such alerts will create! These will lead to delays in care, redundant lab tests, among other issues.

However, with positive patient identification, providers will be able to send out the correct alerts to the appropriate caregivers, ensuring that patient safety is maintained throughout the continuum of care. 

A  robust patient identification platform checks all the above boxes – and more

RightPatient is a leading patient identification system that provides the best and safest experience for patients and healthcare employees. It provides a touchless experience for everyone involved – something that is sorely needed in a post-pandemic world.

It can remotely validate patients’ identities. After scheduling an appointment, patients need to provide their selfies as well as a photo of their driver’s license. RightPatient’s powerful photo-matching engine verifies the identity of the patient to see if they are who they say they are. 

During inpatient visits, a registered patient only needs to look at the camera. RightPatient matches the photo with the one it took during registration, ensuring touchless patient identification, preventing medical identity theft in real-time, and enhancing patient safety across the continuum of care. Terrebonne General Medical Center, University Medical Center, and University Health Care System are just some of the many proud users of RightPatient.

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