Patient Misidentification Is Still Problematic For Hospitals

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By Salman Rashid, creative marketer, RightPatient.

Budgets and costs regarding IT are expanding more than ever- healthcare providers are increasingly focusing on requirements that demand up to date facilities as well as stability.

This is the conclusion of a survey by the firm Navigant Consulting and also explains a few more insightful details. Health systems are confidently financing in spaces such as improved EHR systems, process automation, better revenue integrity, as well as attaining improvements in revenue cycle via third parties.

This survey was conducted via HFMA (Healthcare Financial Management Association) and its sample included more than 100 CFOs and revenue cycle members from health systems, as well as hospitals. 

One of the main takeaways from the survey is that almost two-thirds of the sample stated that they face problems primarily related to EHR systems- either they underutilize their EHR systems, or else they are facing challenges with EHRs like getting better results or else cannot cope with the continuous upgrades. However, even with all these, patient misidentification persists within the healthcare system of the US and is still a top concern for most providers. 

Payment concerns like out of pocket payments are also another challenge, according to the respondents- 85% of respondents feel that lack of insurance will be detrimental for the healthcare providers since they rely heavily on insurance payments. However, even in these cases, they face denied claims when patients are misidentified. 

To face all these issues altogether, almost 70% of the sample agreed that increasing the budget is necessary to overcome them. However, fifty percent of the respondents stated that they are collaborating with third parties to maintain revenue cycle costs, better patient identification, as well as challenges like denied claims. 

Many had expected that EHR systems would be the problem solver for many issues surrounding the healthcare system, but that did not emerge, according to a representative at Navigant.

Many healthcare providers, however, are finding workarounds to such issues- by collaborating with third parties and harnessing the power of technology and are doing so effectively- something along the lines of RightPatient.

Likewise, healthcare providers are also focusing on costs and are providing patients with counseling, plans as well as estimates, should the patients choose to use them.

However, one of the topmost concerns of healthcare is patient misidentification- it is still persistent even to this day, and even with all the bells and whistles, EHR systems provide. However, as previously mentioned, a lot of health systems have found a workaround to this critical issue. They are using innovative solutions like biometric patient identification platforms to combat patient matching errors, and are doing so quite efficiently.

All of the users have reported promising results such as improved patient matching, better patient experience as well as benefits for the health systems such as reduced denied claims and better data integrity. Such a platform also helps to eliminate the creation of duplicates since the patients are identified within seconds.

But how do these platforms work? A patient only needs to register once into the platform using their biometric data like fingerprint or iris- once they are in, all they need to do is verify their identity using their biometrics. They are identified within seconds, and the system pulls their accurate data from the EHR system. It is that easy.

Hospital employees do not need to search for a name within the system endlessly- they get the patients’ biometric data, and the system does it for them. This further helps by eliminating any chance for medical ID fraud as well as insurance fraud by identifying the right patient every time. Thus, a single solution is being used to solve so many problems associated with patient matching errors- just look at Terrebonne General Medical Center and Novant Health as examples.

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