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Changing the record - for good

Electronic patient identification is helping hospitals reduce costs and improve care
First published on October 02, 2013

The days of healthcare workers identifying patients from vast paper medical records - which could be lost, stolen or manipulated - are coming to an end. At Maine's Mid Coast Hospital in the US, Gemalto is working with LifeMed ID on an eHealthcare system that will digitally store and verify identification credentials. This will allow medical staff to gain secure access to patients' unique Electronic Medical Records (EMRs).

As up to 15% of paper medical records can contain errors - and up to 65% of preventable deaths in US are attributable to inaccurate patient identity - it is important for any new electronic system to provide secure authentication from the moment a patient enters the hospital until they are discharged. The Gemalto Sealys MultiApp ID smart card allows Mid Coast Hospital to safeguard medical information by authenticating the identity of the patient. As well as minimizing errors, the new system reduces administration time, cost and paperwork, and improves the overall quality of care.

"Our vision is to seamlessly connect and synchronize patient data across our EMR systems, streamline registration processes, reduce billing errors and improve patient satisfaction," says John Stoy, CIO at Mid Coast Hospital.

Healthcare expenses in the US reached US$2.6 trillion in 2010, so it's not surprising that hospitals are increasingly looking to eHealthcare providers for systems that can prevent these unnecessary costs in the areas of security and patient identity. Secure electronic identity also prevents difficulties with insurance companies and minimizes fraud - a problem that cost the industry US$105 billion in 2010.

TAGGED IN ehealthcare; strong authentication