Stuart, Florida-based Martin Health wanted to protect patient privacy, cut down on fraud and abuse, and make sure patients and records were correctly linked together, says Carol Plato, assistant vice president for revenue cycle at the health care system.
Various solutions were reviewed, but the decision ultimately came down to biometrics. Deciding on biometrics was only the tip of the iceberg, however, as Martin was then faced with the question of which modality to implement. Fingerprint was ruled out because of hygiene concerns. Palm vein was also dismissed because of cleanliness questions, which led to iris, Plato says. “It isn’t invasive to the patient in any way and we get a picture and the iris all at one time,” she adds.
Martin Health has rolled the system out in its three emergency departments, Plato explains. When the patient goes to the triage nurse when entering the emergency department, they are enrolled in the system. The cameras are used to capture both irises and a photo, which are connected to either a patient’s new medical record or an existing one.
If the patient is already enrolled in the system, they simply look at the camera and their medical record is pulled up in the system. The emergency department also has cameras in exam rooms for those cases when a patient is brought in on a stretcher or is unconscious. Martin has even enrolled children as young as two-years-old into the system.
The system will soon be rolled out in a fourth emergency department, and if all goes well, it will be implemented in regular admitting and registration areas as well, Plato says. The system has been in place for 60-days and, thus far, no one has refused to register.
The health care provider is using Iris ID cameras and RightPatient software from M2SYS Technology. Iris offers some distinct advantages in the health care environment and is drawing interest, says Michael Trader, president at M2SYS Technology. “Iris is completely contactless and can work on people of all ages,” he adds.