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The term Positive Patient Identification (PPID) gets thrown around a lot in the healthcare space nowadays. But what does it mean? And what is it used for?

What Is Positive Patient Identification (PPID)?

What is PPID?

The term Positive Patient Identification (PPID) gets thrown around a lot in the healthcare space nowadays – but what does it mean? And what is it used for?

Biometric Positive Patient ID is a method used to avoid patient misidentification in order to prevent potential medical errors. Biometric PPID can include finger, face, palm, retina, and other biometric modalities to accurately identify individuals. Patients can be identified throughout the patient engagement process, promptly beginning with their first check-in.

Imagine you’re a patient ready to check-in at a new doctor’s office that uses PPID: You approach the front desk and begin filling out all required paperwork. Once you are finished, the front desk administrator provides an option for biometric enrollment of face or/and finger as part of new patient registration process and the enrollment process is completed within seconds! Now your face and fingerprint will be paired with your personal information. Any future verification of your health records can be accurately completed by utilizing your face or finger since it is now part of your identity at the doctor’s office.

Whether a patient uses their finger, face, palm, or retina, the biometric PPID result is the same — a person is far less likely to be mixed up with another. This saves patients from receiving incorrect care and helps healthcare providers from dealing with excess paperwork.

The Dangers of Mistaken Identity

PPID helps healthcare practices make patient care more reliable and secure. According to Applied Clinical Informatics, PPID immediately reduces serious medication dispensing errors by 75%. This protects patients from incorrectly receiving medication that could cause potential harm or even death. Many who receive incorrect care often die because due to patient misidentification.

According to Hit Leaders and News, over 100,000 patients die each year because healthcare practitioners fail to properly identify them. Most patient identification errors are entirely preventable, which makes the fatalities even more tragic. For instance, take a recent report from the Emergency Case Research Institute (ECRI) — an anonymous patient needed resuscitation but was denied care because they were misidentified. The doctors mistakenly pulled up the wrong health record, which included a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order, leading to the patient’s death.

Some cases of patient misidentification may not lead to fatalities but are still incredibly taxing on the patient. Boston Globe reports that an anonymous patient received a CT scan that showed signs of cancer. However, the doctor and patient were confused when a biopsy did not detect any malignancy.

Can you guess what happened? A radiologist discovered that the patient was misidentified when they discovered that the initial CT scan belonged to a different patient. The patient was put under complete unnecessary stress and anguish when PPID could have prevented the entire misfortune.

The Positive Impact of PPID

In addition to saving patients from potentially harmful care, PPID also helps practices reduce multiple medical records — which can quickly add up. Duplicate patient records cost health systems approximately $96 per record according to Hit Leaders and News (duplicate records can add up to over $9 million at a large hospital). Multiple health records can sometimes lead to repeated, unnecessary treatments which adds up to about $1,100 per patient. PPID can significantly reduce such unnecessary expenses by consistently identifying patients correctly.

Biometric PPID should be implemented at all medical practices to avoid such challenges. Major health systems like Geisinger are implementing PPID to streamline patient identification. The technology consistently prevents fraud, saves thousands (or even millions) of dollars in medical expenses, and can even save lives. Healthcare workers across the globe are demanding PPID for a more secure and reliable way to deliver the best patient care possible.

Interested in biometric PPID for your practice? CERTIFY Health offers health systems a PPID solution to improve the patient experience. Here are some of CERTIFY’s biometric PPID capabilities:

  • A fully contactless patient enrollment experience so you do not need to worry about sanitizing the device every time some has used it.  
  • Integrated capabilities into existing electronic health records and administrative systems. No need to change your system.
  • A one-time biometric capture, enabling easy and frictionless check-ins in the future. 
  • Verified patient identity via finger, face, palm, retina, and more. 

Request a demo on PPID or any of our other solutions. Don’t wait — improve patient care for a more secure practice and happier patients today.