Biometrics in hospitals is no longer something out of a science fiction movie; it has become an essential tool to increase the security of many processes.

biometrics-in-hospitals

The potential of biometrics is enormous, because if we look at our daily lives, to prove who we are or to verify that we are who we claim to be is essential in many processes and areas. Specifically, in the healthcare sector, biometrics in hospitals and medical centres helps improve patient safety because it allows patients to be identified unequivocally, ensuring, among other things, that the correct treatment is done to the right person and eliminating duplicated medical records that cause overruns to healthcare organisations.

Biometric secure patient identification is also very useful for health professionals, as it contributes to prevent incidents. Moreover, with the application of biometrics in different areas, safety indicators of hospitals and medical centres improve, in a sector where security is very important.

Below we summarize the advantages of using biometrics in hospitals and health organisations in 10 key benefits:

1. Increased patient safety

Secure identification with biometrics takes patient safety to a higher level. It eradicates errors in patient identification thus avoiding the occurrence of adverse events of all kinds for this cause. Biometric identification also saves lives, as it helps determine the preconditions or allergies of a particular patient in an emergency. At the same time, the possibility of the patient being a victim of medical identity fraud is eliminated.

2. More comfort for patients

Patients can access health services in a much more comfortable way than before; they do not need to take anything physical with them, or memorize data required for identification. In addition, patients do not have to wear uncomfortable bracelets that can cause skin irritation or other inconveniences.

3. Greater satisfaction with the service.

Thanks to the improvement in the healthcare processes (for example, reducing the time at processes that require patient identification) and a more efficient and error free information management, the quality of the service provided to patients is improved; patients perceive the change as positive and their degree of satisfaction with the service increases.

4. More confidence and tranquillity

Patients are willing to accept the use of biometrics as a way to protect them against fraud and to protect their identity. The new identification system guarantees complete privacy of access to confidential patient information, patients rights are respected, and the current European legislation is supported. Patients gain in tranquillity and their level of confidence in the security of the personal data and the data processing done by the institution increases.

5. Improved quality of life

When receiving better medical care, free of medical errors and Electronic Medical Record inconsistencies, patients get more successful treatments and, consequently, their quality of life improves.

6. Increased staff security

The staff benefits from greater security in processes that require unambiguous identification, both in controlling physical access to facilities and to the information systems in place. The possibility of theft or fraudulent use of their passwords is eliminated, as well as the possible loss of their ID cards.

7. More comfort for the staff

The Staff does not need to memorize passwords or carry ID cards to access hospital facilities, hospital management systems and patient information. Each time the Staff needs to identify a patient, they can do it with great convenience, speed and agility. The administrative staff can perform processes, like affiliation, admission or discharge, in a faster way. Nurses do not have to worry about patients taking off their bracelets or bracelets that are difficult to read, and it is not necessary to recover bracelets when patients are discharged. When an intervention to a patient needs to be performed, they do not have to worry about bracelets that hinder access to certain areas.

8. More satisfied with their work

In general, all personnel receive greater satisfaction with the work performed. By reducing the time required to identify themselves and to identify patients, the entire process is simplified and many problems and drawbacks are eliminated. With this, they gain in tranquillity, there is less work-related stress and they can focus on patient care.

9. Higher quality healthcare

Biometric identification unifies clinical data, eliminates duplicated medical records, improves medical record accuracy, improves the quality of the information system and, above all, avoids incorrect treatments, clinical procedures or diagnoses that can cause serious problems to patients. All this, in turn, contributes significantly to better and higher quality healthcare services.

10. Cost reductions

With the adoption of biometrics and the change in identification processes, both of patients and staff, cost reductions are obtained:

– New procedures generate less physical documentation (paperless) and improve document management. Thus reducing considerably healthcare fraud and related costs.

– Costs caused by medical errors due to identification errors are reduced; the legal costs of judicial proceedings in which the hospital or medical centre might be involved are much lower.

– The cost of maintaining the old and inefficient patient identification systems is eliminated, since with a biometric system, the hospital or medical centre does not incur costs for loss or forgetfulness of credentials.

– It shall not be necessary to allocate a budget, time or staff to resolve problems caused by patient identification errors. Electronic medical records are accurate and correct.

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