05 Nov Fingerprint Scanners & Biometric Use in the Healthcare Sector
Biometrics are just what the doctor ordered
The potential use for biometrics for physical security in any building or establishment is enormous, however, biometric technology is also emerging as a critical tool for the healthcare sector. The technology can help to enhance security for facilities, employees and patients, as well as streamlining processes and reducing possible clerical errors. There are many industries that could benefit from a dose of biometrics in all sorts of ways. Here, we explore the current use and further potential for biometrics in healthcare management.
Secure fingerprint identification substantially increases patient safety in a number of ways. Of course, physical security is ensured with the installation of biometric technology. For instance, certain areas are restricted to only privileged health personnel. As such, the patients, employees and visitors can enjoy greater peace of mind due to the reduced risk of security breaches. Healthcare personnel working in high-risk buildings are also reassured with the increased safety of biometric technology; only those with permission can get in.
Similarly, facilities do not have to rely on the employees to carry key cards at all times or to remember various passwords. The vulnerabilities due to human error are almost eliminated.
Biometrics in healthcare management could, potentially, be used to control the visibility of certain patient files and sensitive documents. In that sense, biometric technology can not only help with convenience, but protect patient-doctor confidentiality.
In the same way, biometric solutions can also restrict access to actual areas within the building – not just sensitive documents. Certain hospital resources, areas, equipment or even medication can be locked off and accessed by those with the biometric permissions. Crucially, you can also keep track of which individual accessed where and when, should any evidence of malpractice appear.
Biometrics in healthcare management could even offer the potential to greatly reduce the risk of fraud. Biometric authentication – such as fingerprint readers – would eliminate the possibilities of individuals posing as other patients for their medication or treatments. It’s almost impossible to replicate the fingerprint stored in a biometric database and, as such, the right people will be receiving the correct health care.
Aid with language barriers
Biometrics in healthcare management can greatly enhance the delivery of treatments. If there happens to be a communication error between the healthcare worker and the patient – particularly when attempting to share past medical history – a simple biometric scan could pull up all of these records. Therefore, the healthcare worker has an immediate understanding of the patient’s medical history and can offer a greater solution and service.
Accurate patient identification
This is one more for the future, then now – but the potential could prove astounding. The up-to-date and accurate medical history of a patient is essential for providing the right treatment and care. Therefore, it’s crucial the healthcare workers access all files and information; this is where healthcare biometrics comes into play.
It’s possible that with a biometrics solution, GPs and other healthcare workers can identify the patients – through the use of fingerprint identification etc. – records quickly and without any clinical errors. While this is only in the very early stages with biometric companies discussing the possibilities, this service could help both patients and employees and provide greater peace of mind with the treatment.
The accurate identification benefits are not limited to hospitals, but even the likes of pop-up blood donor clinics. For instance, a person donating blood can confirm their identity and blood type via a biometric scan, rather than with a blood donor card which is easily misplaced. Again, this is still very much in the future but the right regulations and software in place could benefit patients in more areas than one.
Greater satisfaction with service
Overall, biometric authentication could vastly improve the efficiency and delivery of the general healthcare industry and in many cases, the technology could be used to greatly enhance the service for patients and employees.
If you would like to discuss more on biometric solutions for your healthcare establishment, you can get in touch with our team or find out how we’re helping to protect patients, employees and assets in the healthcare industry.