In 2018, The Joint Commission, a national nonprofit that accredits health care organizations and programs, published that its No. 1 patient safety goal was proper patient identification. At CoxHealth, it was noted that as many as 5 to 10 percent of patients were being entered into the system multiple times due to human error. With so many patients, medical personnel wanted to make certain they could safely connect patients to their medical records.
CoxHealth found a solution in Imprivata PatientSecure technology, a system that promotes patient safety and facilitates proper patient identification, even in dire circumstances. Because of the features of this technology, even if the patient is unconscious, medical professionals using PatientSecure can use palm vein recognition to accurately access the patient’s medical records and gain complete knowledge of allergies and previous health problems and provide immediate medical care even if traditional patient identification is not available at the time. “I believe it will save lives,” says Jack Cole, IT administrative director at CoxHealth.
To minimize confusion when debuting the new tech, CoxHealth rolled out the program in-house by starting at smaller facilities to monitor any problems that arose before moving to bigger hospitals, Springfield clinics and rural areas. To get patients acquainted with the switch, brochures were distributed in offices so patients could study and take home the information. Registration staff also received vivid training to better be able to handle customer questions and concerns. The rollout was a success because, as of March 2019, more than 65,000 patients have already enrolled in PatientSecure.
PatientSecure is sold by Imprivata, and CoxHealth is the first hospital in Missouri to use it. As of January 2019, PatientSecure has gotten out to most hospitals and clinics around Missouri, with the exception of a few specialty clinics.