As anyone who has visited a doctor’s office or emergency room knows, there is an ample amount of paperwork to fill out; ranging from registration to medical history to insurance information.

While this information is necessary especially for initial visits, for those who are going for repeat visits to the same doctor’s office or emergency room, it can seem tedious and redundant.  For those hoping for a solution, the answer can be found right in the palm of their hands.

In an attempt to improve patient safety and cut down on the possibility of miscommunication, NYU’s Langone Medical Center has introduced PatientSecure.  The biometric technology from HT Systems allows NYU to utilize vein-scanning technology – which the vendor claims is 100 times more accurate than fingerprinting – to identify patients.

Admittedly, the initial registration for this system is no better than filling out the paperwork, but the benefit is seen more on return visits, as a simple scan of the palm will securely access the patient’s registration, insurance, and also links to NYU’s Epic Systems EMR (another technology new to the hospital, launched simultaneously with PatientSecure).  Dr. Bernard Bimbaum, chief of hospital operations, says that the scanners are being rolled out with the new Epic system.  Currently the system is live at NYU’s Tisch Hospital, Hospital for Joint Disease, and Rush Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine amongst others.

The possibilities for use are unlimited.  Imagine for example, paramedics bring in an elderly man found wandering the streets, confused and unable to tell you what happened.  PatientSecure can show that this gentleman, Mr. Williams, 83, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, provide access to next of kin, his primary care physician, and his complete medical history.

From traumas and patients with altered mental status in the emergency room to patients who are poor historians or speak limited English in follow-ups or referral clinics, a system like PatientSecure will help physicians deliver care that is faster, safer, and more effective simply by allowing faster access to medical records. For hospitals and clinics, they can make sure that the patients records are kept up-to-date and confidential.

And for these benefits, we had to look no further than the palm of our hands.

Source: InformationWeek