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News Link • Healthcare Industry

Patient Identification "In The Palm Of Your Hand"

• PRNewswire
NEW YORK, June 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- NYU Langone Medical Center announced today that it is the first medical center in the Northeast to use PatientSecure™ -- a cutting-edge biometric technology – to identify patients. Utilizing near infrared light to map an image of the blood-flow pattern through the veins in a person's palm, the digital palm image is converted into a unique patient identifier that interfaces with the medical center's electronic health record system.

"Vein patterns are 100 times more unique than fingerprints," said Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, senior vice president and vice dean, chief of hospital operations at NYU Langone. "As a result, PatientSecure provides a safe, secure, easy and fast way for our patients to register for care at the medical center. It not only protects privacy and enhances quality, but will transform the patient experience."

The advanced technology of PatientSecure helps to ensure each patient is correctly "linked" to the right medical record, a task which is not always as straightforward as it sounds. For example, at the medical center alone, two or more patients share the same first and last names more than 125,000 times. As a result, with PatientSecure a patient simply places his or her hand on a small black box and their unique identifying palm portrait automatically registers them and accesses his or her electronic health record, reducing the chances of misidentification and minimizing the need to present other identifying information after initial enrollment, such as a driver's license or Social Security number. 

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