Posted: Nov 13, 2012 9:02 AM by Melissa Anderson - MTN News
HELENA - Patients at St. Peter's Hospital and clinics will soon have the option of enrolling in a new identification system which eliminates the need to provide photo ID at each appointment or hospital visit.
It's called Patient Secure and it's currently used by 200 hospitals across the nation.
The system scans the patient's vein pattern of their right hand which is then fed into a computer.
St. Peter's Hospital is hoping to secure the identity of its patients by implementing a new hand-scanning system.
Patient Access director Kolene Gardner explained, "What this is, it's a biometric scan of your palm. Your palm is the same from the time you are born until you pass."
Gardner added, "It just takes a picture, it's just the veins below the surface of your hand. It's just a vein scan is all it is."
The information quickly links to the patient's electronic health records for patient verification.
The hospital is hoping it will cut down on ID fraud, as well as save time.
Helena Bunskowske, one of the first patients to use the system, said, "I want to make sure that it's me when I come here to have anything done."
Gardner said, "We do have insurance card fraud that happens in the United States and also misidentify patients with the same names. And actually there are patients who have very close birth dates . So this way it will always pull up the right patient every time. "
The system is entirely internal, so the information is never shared outside of the hospital or with other organizations.
At a cost of around $450 dollars each, the scanners are said to be well worth the money.
St. Peter's will begin scanning in current patients beginning on Thursday.