Matching the right patient to the right records with ‘eyeprint’ technology


Community Medical Centers is rolling out a new software system this month that uses "eyeprint" technology to enhance patient safety. RightPatient software integrates with Community’s electronic medical record system and uses a patient's unique iris pattern, or eyeprint, to quickly and accurately match the patient to his/her medical record.



It’s estimated that medical fraud costs $70 to $255 billion a year and accounts for up to 10% of U.S. healthcare costs. RightPatient helps prevent medical identity theft by not having to simply rely on a social security number, birth date or name, which can be used by those who steal identities. This adds another layer of protection to patients’ private health information. It’s a foolproof way to match patients to their medical record and help eliminate duplicate medical records, since eyeprints, like fingerprints, are unique to each individual.
 
During the hospital admissions process patients will be asked to pose for a picture by looking into a small rectangular mirror. It’s not like in spy movies. RightPatient doesn’t use up-close lasers to scan the retina. Instead, only the eye’s unique iris patterns is photographed with a non-intrusive, high-resolution digital camera from about 18 inches away. It will feel similar to posing for a driver’s license or passport photo.
 
Patient photos will only be displayed in the electronic medical record system and will be accessible only to those who have a direct role in caring for that particular patient.
 
The admissions staff will be taking patients’ initial photos and eyeprints and verifying their identities to make sure they are linked to the correct medical record. Then each time a patient is cared for at a Community hospital his/her photo and eyeprint will be taken as part of the admissions process to help match him/her to the correct electronic medical record.
 
Erin Kennedy reported this story. Reach her at MedWatchToday@communitymedical.org