Using Biometric Authentication Technology for Patient Safety

Welcome to our final post on biometrics in healthcare. In this post, David Orme, SVP of Sales and Marketing at IDEX Biometrics discusses how biometric authentication technology can be used for patient safety. Our previous post in our series on healthcare reviewed how a biometric smart card can limit prescription fraud.

Biometric authentication improves patient safety and boosts patient security.

Biometric technology is a common-sense inclusion for the healthcare sector. With its unique identifiers, biometric data is difficult to duplicate or fake. This is especially important in places where security, data protection, and privacy all come into play as they do in the healthcare field. Patient safety is important in everything from hospitals to doctors’ offices, from transporting patients to addressing their concerns via phone or appointment. There are a plethora of areas where a patient’s physical safety are of concern, and also where their privacy is of concern. Biometric technology can address all of these areas, keeping patients and their data secure.

Secure Identification

Biometric authentication technology uses unique data to identify individuals. This data can be used in a variety of ways. In healthcare, the use of secure identification has a number of practical applications. When administering medication to patients, for example, use of their biometric data to confirm their identity as well as confirm that the prescribed medication is appropriate can reduce the risk of errors in providing medication. This is especially true in regard to patients who are not able to speak for themselves, such as those in a comatose state or under anesthesia.

Error Reduction

Biometric data can also reduce errors in the healthcare field. From administering the wrong medication to providing a patient’s medical history and allergies, this secure method of transmitting data and information can reduce potentially life-threatening errors. By having a patient’s information tied to their unique biometric identifiers, it ensures that information is associated with the correct individual in previously unprecedented ways. While technology is not infallible, the positive impact that this unique method of identification can provide will greatly reduce the risk of error and save lives.

Errors in healthcare are unfortunate and not always 100 percent avoidable, but any technology that can reduce these errors and the strain on healthcare professionals is a must.

Privacy Practices

Privacy regarding healthcare records is of upmost importance to many patients. This sensitive data should be well protected, and the use of biometric authentication technology can help to ensure that it is. From verifying a patient’s identity using the biometric data provided to allowing only those individuals who truly require access to the patient record, the technology provides a new level of security and helps to ensure patient privacy and safety.

From administration of medications to processing of healthcare claims, biometric authentication can provide a level of security that helps provide an additional layer to patient safety and well-being. This technology will continue to grow and evolve over time, and the places where it can be utilized in the healthcare sector will also continue to grow. From securing a patient’s room to securing their records, every step of the healthcare process poses risks to a patient. These risks can be mitigated with the use of biometric data and implementing the use of that data in a variety of ways that will guarantee security.

Our previous post in our series on healthcare reviewed how a biometric smart card can limit prescription fraud.

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