Hospitals across the US are implementing high-tech biometrics technology to prevent insurance fraud and identity theft. The new mechanism also speeds up patient admission process and reduces errors.
Biometrics technology includes things such as palm readers, iris scanners, and voice recognition systems. These are methods to recognize a person based on unique biological characteristics and patterns, say companies that create the technology.
The systems help locate patient records and log them into electronic files. The person who is looking at sensitive information stored in hospitals can also tracked with its help. Similarly, patients who try to dodge a bill can also be blocked.
To prevent errors and enhance security, some hospitals, such as Bethesda Memorial Hospital in Boynton Beach, require new mothers and their babies to wear bracelets with their photos attached to barcodes. When they leave, the bar codes must match so the family is "as safe as possible," said Lisa Kronhaus, director of public relations and marketing.
Others medical centers have finger scanners that only allow authorized workers to access certain records. The Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Palm Beach is considering incorporating face recognition programs in the future.
"In the case of hospitals, there is a lot of private patient data that you don't want to fall in the wrong hands," said Dr. Anil Jain, distinguished professor in the computer science department at Michigan State University.