(Springfield, Mo.) Next time you walk into the hospital you might be identified not by your social security number or birthday, but by pattern of veins in the palm of your hand.
CoxHealth is planning to increase patient security by digitizing records to provide quick, safe, enhanced, and cost effective care.
"It’s critical to being able to take care of our patients to make sure our patient is connected to the right medical record. We don’t want to just improve it. We want to make sure it’s perfect," says Jack Cole, Administrative Director of Information Technology, CoxHealth.
To identify patients, Cole says CoxHealth is exploring the use of biometric technology.
"Whether I’m showing up in the emergency room or the doctor’s office they can put my palm down there and know positively this is Jack Cole and connect me to the proper medical record."
Cole says a person’s individual veins develop before birth and remain unique throughout life. By placing your hand on the scanner, in mere seconds, a low infrared light scans the vein map of your hand.
"Then it takes that creates an algorithm and nobody else has that except those that you as an individual choose to allow scan your palm and get that vein impression. It’s so unique that identical twins do not have the same vein pattern."
Not only is it easier for CoxHealth to identify patients, Charlotte Hale, Systems Director, CoxHealth, says the advanced technology is also an excellent way to guard against patient identify theft.
"We just want to make sure get not just timely back to their appointments, but we want to make sure that for safety of the patient that we get the right patient registered."
Cole says in addition to speeding up registration, the technology will undoubtedly save lives.
"If you’re enrolled into the system and you show up into the emergency room and you don’t have any ID and you’re unconscious, or unable to identify yourself they will be able to scan your palm and know exactly know who you are, know your problem list, know your medications."
The new biometric patient id system will be rolling out at Cox Branson starting September 10th.
For more information about the Biometric technology, click here.