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A patient identity solution that addresses a multi-billion dollar problem in healthcare
The cost of healthcare in the U.S. continues to soar year after year. The problem is not a result of idleness or the lack of technology, but of not addressing the core problem of patient identity.
The Institute of Medicine issued a report on September 6, 2012 that highlighted the fact that the U.S. healthcare system has become complex and costly due to pervasive inefficiencies, insufficient clinical knowledgebase and inability to address patient needs and to contribute to patient safety and quality of care.
About $750 billion dollars is wasted annually in the healthcare system. Kelli Emeric, of the Secure ID Coalition, said, “The first step in reducing waste, fraud, and abuse in healthcare system is to make sure both patients and providers are who they claim, and are properly authenticated within the system.”
Patient identity problems occur at the federal, state and healthcare provider level. As electronic health information becomes more prevalent, the accurate and efficient matching of patients to health records is vital to quality healthcare. Incorrect matching can result in medical errors and compromise privacy and security if patient information is inappropriately disclosed.
David Batchelor, CEO of LifeMed ID, said, “The lack of a standardized method for patient identity is compounded by challenges in patient information that is out of date or incorrectly recorded. Duplicates and overlays in patient records often result in wrong medical procedures and medications given to the wrong patients contributing to the high cost of healthcare.”
How does LifeMed ID tackle the patient identity problem and keep costs down? By leveraging a patient identifier, identity device (smart card, biometric or smart phone), Cloud computing technology, health IT system interoperability and efficient workflow process, the company is able to authenticate and connect one patient to one patient record. This prevents duplicate records and overlays, while making it possible for a clean patient record moving forward no matter to which healthcare facility they go.
The right patient care is given to the right patient and documented on the right patient record. Patient safety is improved with the virtual elimination of “overlaid medical records,” which is the root cause for erroneous medical procedures and wrong medications leading to 195,000 preventable deaths in the U.S. each year.
LifeMed ID has demonstrated the ability to maintain patient identity integrity on an ongoing basis. Its product was instrumental in driving down cost at Memorial Hospital, in North Conway, NH, by reducing duplicate records by 90 percent, billing errors by 88 percent and account receivable collection time by 25 percent, while increasing patient satisfaction to the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide.
For Resolute Health, of New Braunfels, TX (a provider within the Vanguard Health System), LifeMed ID’s patient identity solution has enabled a “continuum of care,” ensuring that patients have the ability to receive care throughout the health system. Healthcare providers have the visibility of patient records from any department or facility. This allows patients the mobility to travel to different organization within network, or a healthcare institution in a different geographic location.
LifeMed ID directly addresses the inefficiencies and FTE (full-time equivalent employee) expenditures in healthcare. The manual patient registration process is replaced with automation at the front desk and kiosk check-ins, giving providers the ability to handle increase in-patient intake and effective workflow processing. This leads to improvements in patient satisfaction. Under the legacy system, by contrast, providers often found themselves adding resources and throwing money on short-lived fixes to resolve problems.
Daniel Panboon is vice president of marketing for LifeMed ID, Inc. He can be reached at: