Patient misidentification is a serious issue within the healthcare industry since it leads to a lot of problems for any given health system. The revenue cycle is reduced, as well as patient safety is at risk. However, other issues are faced due to patient misidentification. Let’s analyze.
Whenever a patient is going for treatment, the hospital needs to identify the correct medical record of the patient, that is, the EHR. However, in some cases, the patient gets misidentified. As a result, the hospital staff pulls up a medical record, which is either incomplete or inaccurate. Also, duplicate medical records are generated in such cases. Ponemon Institute conducted a study which had over 500 participants. According to the survey, around 28 minutes are wasted per shift, searching for accurate medical records.
Patient misidentification causes a lot of problems for both patients as well as healthcare providers. Any given healthcare provider loses around $17.4 million in denied claims- patient misidentification is directly responsible for this. Aso, 86% of the participants in the survey stated that they knew about patient misidentification incidents within their premises.
Also, from the survey, the three factors contributing to patient identification errors are difficulty finding the accurate medical record, retrieving an incorrect record due to common name or date of birth, and finding duplicate medical files while searching for the patient record.
It is not only the hospitals from the survey- almost every healthcare provider in the US faces the same problem of patient misidentification. A reputed healthcare system, like Terrebonne General Medical Center, also faced the same problem. It has around 10 million medical records- the misidentifications occurred because most of the patients have the same last name, date of birth, and even Social Security Number. Thus, it is quite challenging to identify the accurate patient record out of 10 million. The creation of duplicate medical records was an issue as well. However, Terrebonne General Medical Center has solved the problem of patient misidentification and is accurately identifying the patients. Not only them, but a lot of health systems are also correctly identifying their patients. These healthcare providers are doing so with the help of health-tech (healthcare technology).
These health systems have opted for RightPatient. It is a biometric patient identification platform that can easily be integrated with EHR systems. It locks the medical records of the patients with their biometric data. This ensures that the patient record mix-ups never occur again. Not only that, but medical identity theft and insurance fraud are prevented as well.
A hospital needs to register their patients only once with RightPatient with their biometric data, such as fingerprints or irises. Once the patient is registered, it is quite easy. Whenever the patient comes in for treatment, the hospital staff needs to scan the biometrics of the patients, and RightPatient provides the accurate medical record within a few seconds- it is that easy! No searches in the EHR system, proof of identity, or questions are required for identification anymore. Thus, it is quite convenient since RightPatient speeds up the whole process significantly.
RightPatient ensures accurate patient identification, enhances patient safety, as well as improves the patient experience. Not only Terrebonne General Medical Center but other reputed health systems such as Novant Health as well as Northwell Health have deployed RightPatient and are reaping its benefits. These health systems have experienced several benefits after its deployment, such as reduced denied claims, minimized losses as well as improved revenue cycles. Thus, such an effective patient identification platform benefits not only the patients but also healthcare providers- creating a better healthcare experience for all parties involved.
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