Ultra-Scan Corporation will combine its patented ultrasonic fingerprint biometric technology with Bio-Optronics’ Dynamic Hospital suite of products designed to improve workflow and patient safety. The two leading technology companies see the need for multiple, accurate means of identifying patients and staff as a crucial step to reducing medical errors and improving workflow among healthcare professionals.
As reported in studies by the Institute of Medicine, medical errors cause up to 98,000 deaths and 770,000 adverse effects annually, representing the eighth leading cause of morbidity in the United States, exceeding that of motor vehicles, breast cancer, or AIDS. The combined solution now offered by the companies will help to address two of the major causes of medical errors; patient misidentification and medication administration. With the Ultra-Scan and Bio-Optronics solution, there will be an additional layer of security because the patient’s fingerprint will be required to match the bar code on their wristband. In addition, hospital staff responsible for administering medications will be fingerprinted to ensure they are properly authorized to do so.
“Two of the nation’s most important healthcare issues that directly affect patient safety and quality of care are the ability to correctly identify patients and to confirm the accurate delivery of clinical services for those patients,” said Dr. John K. Schneider, president and founder of Ultra-Scan. “The combination of our technologically advanced fingerprint readers and Bio-Optronics’ bar coding capabilities will improve prevailing single-factor methods, and in doing so, will virtually eliminate cases of mistaken identity.”
Ultra-Scan’s Livescan Ultrasonic Identification System (LUISTM) biometric identity management solution enrolls patients in the system by scanning each index finger using its ultrasonic biometric reader during initial patient registration. Once enrolled, the patient’s medical record is quickly accessed on subsequent visits with the touch of a finger. LUIS utilizes high frequency sound waves to accurately measure the ridges and valleys of a fingerprint and helps to “see through” dirt, newsprint, hand lotions and other common finger contaminants, guaranteeing unsurpassed accuracy, reliability and ease of use. The LUIS system is currently the only biometric technology with a proven track record for patient identification applications and is now gaining widespread market adoption.
Bio-Optronics’ Dynamic Hospital Suite of medical applications utilizes powerful bar-coding technology to ensure that positive patient identification is always achieved and maintained for both patients and medical staff. The company’s MedID application allows for the creation of personalized wristbands, which bear a patient’s unique bar-coded identifier, biometric identifiers, photograph and pertinent medical information. In addition, their MedRunner application incorporates bar-coding technology to improve safety in drug administration and dramatically decrease the occurrence of possibly fatal medication errors.
“Accurate identification is important at many levels. We need to know that the right clinician is administering the right medication to the right patient, each and every time,” explained Randy Wilford, executive vice president at Bio-Optronics. “This partnership will provide an unprecedented level of accuracy and is important because when it comes to drug administration, healthcare providers cannot afford even the smallest error or mistake.”