Don't Misidentify Your Patients

When you walk into an emergency room, how much does the hospital you’re visiting know about you?  Ideally, they know your medical history, your allergies, your family history, and a myriad of other pieces of information that would affect the care you receive.  After all, administering the wrong type of anesthetic or any other drug could result in severe complications or even death, depending on a patient’s aversion to the medicine.

Studies have shown that up to 10 percent of patients are misidentified during medical record searches and around 6 percent of that group suffer adverse effects that could have been prevented with proper identification.  Even seemingly safe medications that could be prescribed during a visit might have much more serious issues that arise due to contraindications with other medicines.

While technology is making strides to eliminate these type of errors, there are clerical mistakes that occur and can result in patients having duplicate charts simply because of a typo.  These issues can usually be identified during an average patient visit, but the situation becomes much more untenable when a patient is coming into the emergency room, when treatment and diagnosis decisions must be made immediately.

While decisions that can affect a patient’s health are obviously the primary concern, patient misidentification can have a large financial impact as well.  Incorrect EMR data can cause tests to be re-ordered when they’ve already occurred or may not even be necessary.  This can cause massive monetary impacts for both the patient and the healthcare system.

One of the solutions healthcare facilities have been implementing revolves around biometrics.  Things like palm vein scanning have gained more acceptance among patients than fingerprinting, and are a good step forward in non-invasive biometric identification.  Biometric scans allow healthcare organizations to ensure that they’re working with the right patient and that their diagnosis and treatment decisions are based off of accurate information.

While Extract doesn’t provide technology that will identify a patient when they enter the door of a healthcare facility, what we do is to help ensure accurate medical information is entered into an EMR in a timely fashion.  Our software reads documents like a human would, and quickly pulls relevant data to be added to a patient’s chart.  We can also use your existing database to cross-reference medical record numbers and other pieces of information to ensure that the correct data is going into the correct patient’s record.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can ensure that the data your healthcare system is in the EMR quickly, is accurate, and that it’s in the right place, reach out to us today and we’d be happy to give you an overview or demo of our software.


About the Author: Chris Mack

Chris is a Marketing Manager at Extract with experience in product development, data analysis, and both traditional and digital marketing.  Chris received his bachelor’s degree in English from Bucknell University and has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.  A passionate marketer, Chris strives to make complex ideas more accessible to those around him in a compelling way.