Registration at the hospital will soon mimic that of a checker scanning
barcodes at the grocery store. No endless questions to answer. No forms
to fill out.
With the Patient Access Secured System, hospital personnel will simply
scan the palms of patients as they check in. The process will bring up
patient records and be sure that medical staff has the right person, according
to Mike Johnson with CaroMont Health, parent company of CaroMont Regional
“Positively identifying the patient is important,” he said.
The scanner works by taking a digital image of the vein patterns in a person’s
hand. Each vein pattern is unique.
The palm scan can be even more accurate than a fingerprint, said Johnson.
Some people, such as construction workers, may get injuries that alter
The new, high-tech system works on everyone except infants. Because babies’
bodies are in such a state of flux, they are not good candidates for the scan.
But participation is not required. Patients can opt not to enroll if they wish.
Not only can the palm scan make registration quick, painless and private,
but the practice can be beneficial in an emergency if the patient is unconscious.
The scanners have already been installed at Carolinas Medical Center-Lincoln.
CaroMont Regional Medical Center isn’t far behind. Systems are being
installed now and should be ready for rollout in June.
Johnson said he’s been looking at options of scanners for years but
none seemed to be affordable enough to justify the cost.
“We were interested in that because we’ve looked at biometric
identification for a number of years,” he said.
At one point Johnson checked into iris scanners. They were going for more
than $1 million.
Technology now is such that it can pick up on a variety of unique traits,
“It is amazing how many parts of us are unique — our palm prints,
irises, voices,” he said.
The palm scanners have come a long way and seem to give the best bang for
the buck, said Johnson.
Each scanner is less than $200. The hospital will install 250 in its various
departments and affiliated practices.
Nurses will still use wristbands and barcodes for patients already admitted
into the hospital. The palm scanners will be used at the point of entry.
The non-invasive system will accomplish a number of important points for
patients and medical staff, said Johnson.
Patients will no longer have to verbally give their information, leaving
them open for medical or identity theft.
Office staff will be certain that similar names don’t cause confusion
and mix up paperwork. And accuracy will be easier to achieve, said Johnson.
“We think it’s one more step in trying to improve our service
to the community,” said Johnson.
You can reach Diane Turbyfill at 704-869-1817.
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