As the technology increases in reliability and affordability, more health care IT professionals are pointing hospitals towards biometric solutions for patient management, according to a Health Management Technology article by health care IT consultant Mike Wisz. Among the many recommendations from Wisz are replacing standard ID cards with smart cards, specific utilization of fingerprint biometrics, vascular biometrics and iris biometrics.
As far as smart cards, many hospitals are leaning towards simply improving existing standard ID cards to reduce costs. However, those costs could potentially be misleading as they may lead to high costs associated with outsourced partners needed for such a project. One of the key advantages for using the biometric-based smart cards would be solving many issues concerning insurance and other frauds seen in health care institutions.
Fingerprints are a slightly different story. Due to drops in prices for the technology, fingerprint biometric systems have begun to find themselves moving into the health care industry with biometric cabinets and other products. Despite the fact that fingerprint technology is rapidly growing, it still faces the main problem in a health care institution as it requires contact with skin and therefore is susceptible to spreading germs and bacteria.
The final two technologies recommended by Wisz, vascular and iris biometrics, solve the problem of required contact, however are relatively expensive compared to fingerprint technologies. While the high cost associated with the implementation of such systems is what is keeping many health care institutions from making the decision to move ahead with the technologies, Wisz argues that the costs will be more than realized with the reduction in insurance fraud cases, the reduction in legal battles associated with patient identity errors and a reduction in man power associated with authenticating patients.
Read the full story here.