Biometrics For Patient Identification: Obstacles And Opportunities (Health IT Outcomes)

Daniel Cidon, Chief Technology Officer of NextGate, has a really well-sourced piece up at Health IT Outcomes. Using data from recent studies by ECRI, Gartner, and Pew, his perspective on healthcare ID management and biometrics is well worth a read.

A sample…

“Research at the ECRI Institute paints a grim picture of how deeply troubling and harmful patient identification errors can be. In examining 7,613 cases of wrong-patient errors at 181 organizations, incidents included an individual in cardiac arrest that was not resuscitated because the care team mistakenly obeyed the wrong patient’s do-not-resuscitate order and an infant given milk from the wrong mother who was infected with hepatitis.

ECRI found 13 percent of identification errors occurred at registration, when, for example, duplicate records were created, or two patients’ records were “overlaid,” a term that describes when information from one patient is used to replace another’s.

These issues are driving health IT executives to pursue use of biometrics technology at registration to add another layer of protection of patient identity integrity.”

Healthcare biometrics foster better delivery and outcomes

Biometrics entering a new era in healthcare (Healthcare IT News)

“The future portends a new era of biometrics. Advances to the technologies will make them more attractive to healthcare organizations. Decreasing costs will make biometrics a more palatable move. Other technologies like artificial intelligence will, in turn, also give biometrics a boost.

But mainstreaming biometrics faces a variety of challenges. These include privacy, people, cost and interoperability.”

As they say, read the whole thing. It’s a really informative piece.

Value-Based Healthcare – The Role of the Vendor Community

Our own Ron Kaczorowski has an essay up at Longwoods.com.

Thesis:

“In healthcare, delivering value – measured by client-centric outcomes for dollars spent – is a constant and dynamic challenge. For those vendors who focus on the healthcare market, and who strive for sustainable success, their strategies and programs must appeal to a diverse stakeholder community – healthcare providers, payors, policy makers and, most importantly, patients.”

Securlinx at IAHSS in Chicago

Securlinx, is on the ground in Chicago to take part in the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS) annual conference and to demonstrate the newest version of our FaceTrac facial recognition software. We’ll be in booth #601 today and tomorrow.

IAHSS is dedicated to professionals involved in managing and directing security and safety programs in healthcare facilities.

 

The healthcare Internet of Things: Promise and Risks

Exposed Devices and Supply Chain Attacks: Overlooked Risks in Healthcare Networks (Trend Micro)

“We discovered exposed medical systems — including those that store medical-related images, healthcare software interfaces, and even misconfigured hospital networks — which should not be viewable publicly. While a device or system being exposed does not necessarily mean that it is vulnerable, exposed devices and systems can potentially be used by cybercriminals and other threat actors to penetrate into organizations, steal data, run botnets, install ransomware, and so on. Furthermore, it shows that a massive amount of sensitive information is publicly available when they shouldn’t be.”

The article linked above and the companion Trend Micro blog post, along with the entire 61 page pdf report (available here) do a really good job of covering the range of threats confronting healthcare networks today.

The internet of things (IoT) offers so much of benefit — remote monitoring, diagnosis, collaboration, home healthcare, devices, etc. — to healthcare providers and patients that it is inconceivable that it will be abandoned. There are, however, significant privacy and health outcome risks associated with putting practically every software application, sensor, device and record within reach of the internet.

How large healthcare providers harness the IoT for better care delivery while minimizing the associated risks will go a long way toward sorting out the winners and losers in the business of healthcare.

Cyber security, identity assurance, and training are of critical importance if the promise of the healthcare IoT is to be kept for healthcare providers and patients alike.

Security and adoption of online health record access

25% of Patients Did Not Access Data Over Patient Privacy Concerns (Health IT Security)

“Using National Cancer Institute survey data, the study found that 52 percent of US citizens were offered access to an online medical record by a healthcare provider or insurer in 2017, up from 42 percent in 2014. Of those who were offered access, 53 percent viewed their records at least once in the past year.

However, of the individuals offered access to online medical record, one-quarter did not access that information because of privacy/security concerns.”

So, is it fair to imply that up to 25% more patients would access their online health record if they were more confident in the security of their access to it?

Market forecast: Biometrics in Healthcare 2018 – 2025

Healthcare Biometrics Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report (Grand View Research)

“The global healthcare biometrics market size was valued at USD 2.1 billion in 2016 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 24.2% over the forecast period. The major driving parameters attributing to the growth of this market are rising healthcare IT application combined with increasing awareness and demand for cyber security and biometric development catering to the healthcare facilities.”

Eric Schmidt at HiMSS and comments from Craig Workinger

A final update from Craig at the HiMSS…

Eric Schmidt, the former executive chairman of Alphabet, delivered a bold vision of the future of health care and technology at HiMMS, urging participants to go immediately to the cloud.

The cloud, he notes, can take in—and provide security for—the large amounts of data being generated from the growing number of new mobile apps and sensors, then integrate and structure this data into an information flow to support the clinician sitting in front of a patient. Through an earbud or mobile phone, the clinician can access potentially life-saving guidance.

But Eric’s comments underscore the big challenge facing the next generation of EHR (Electronic Health Records). EHR has a growing, vast flow of potentially valuable data from broad array of devices and apps. What’s lacking is the means to store it and validate its sources.

Identity authentication across platforms and devices is thus crucial to the next generation of EHR. To be usable, all that data must be tied unequivocally to the individual in front of the clinician. In turn, that means having an integrated, holistic approach to managing identity across all the platforms, apps and sensors.