Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that the health department will temporarily suspend the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in…
When it comes to identifying individuals with absolute accuracy, biometric technology is one of the best options to consider. Biometric technology, once relegated to sci-fi films and science fantasy novels, has become a reality of our everyday lives.
All over the world, governments, corporations, military establishments, law enforcement and other government agencies are using biometric technology for identification across many different verticals for a multitude of objectives.
As the technology is evolving, healthcare facilities are also adopting biometric solutions in order to bolster security and ensure safety through accurate patient identification and single sign-on into internal systems for hospital staff
Biometrics for patient identification
Biometric patient identification is the process of accurately identifying a patient by using one or more of their physiological attributes such as a fingerprint, palm vein image, or their iris.
Healthcare facilities enroll, store, and match a patient’s biometric template to their medical record to verify identification accuracy and ensure the right care is being delivered to the right patient. Not only is biometric patient identification accurate, but most modern biometric interfaces deliver fast, accurate results and are extremely users friendly.
The primary application of biometrics for patient identification in healthcare is to increase patient safety. Using biometrics to accurately identify patients helps to:
- Prevent duplicate medical records
- Eliminating medical identity theft and fraud at the point of service
- Identifying unconscious patients
- Lower hospital risk
- Overcoming problems with cultural naming conventions
- Tracking patients with chronic disease to help with medication adherence and mapping patterns ensuring the right care is delivered to the right patient
Biometrics as a data protection tool
Biometric Technology in healthcare not only helps to accurately identify patients, but it also helps to create accountability among hospital employees by requiring biometric credentials for identification to access internal hospital data systems. It ensures that only authorised personnel has access to patient medical records, eliminates the need for password management, establishes a concrete audit trail of activities, encrypts files and secures communications across the network, and allows medical facilities to easily scale from one user to thousands of users with multiple types of authentication devices.
As government regulatory bodies place greater emphasis on the quality of medical services and the protection of patient health information and privacy, healthcare facilities are looking for improved and secure patient identification and employee access solutions such as the use of biometric technology.
Using biometrics for patient identification and data protection can not only help by ensuring near 100% identification accuracy, but it also strengthens data integrity, prevents a chain reaction of errors that can lead to irreversible physical damage and possibly even death, and protects against medical identity theft and fraud.