UPMC Altoona Uses New Patient Identification

UPMC Altoona is the first health care system in the area to use a biometric palm scanner to launch a new patient identification system.
The palm-based scanner uses infrared technology — the same kind as a TV remote control — to map a patient’s network of veins. Vein-pattern identification is unique to each individual and does not change over one’s lifetime.
After a patient’s palm is scanned, the new PatientSecure system generates a unique number that corresponds to the patient’s electronic medical record. The number, only useful to UPMC Altoona, helps staff ensure that the person will receive the right care and treatment.
Linnane Batzel, chief medical officer and senior vice president for quality says that vein patterns are 100 times more unique than fingerprints.
Patient Access at Station Medical Center and the Outpatient Center, first floor, at UPMC Altoona, are using the palm scanners. Plans are to expand its use to the Emergency department.

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