Saint Joseph Mercy installing palm-scanning technology for patient registration

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Saint Joseph Mercy Health System will deploy biometric palm-scanning technology across all five of its southeast Michigan hospitals to register patients. The new PatientSecure® technology is a fast, secure way to accurately identify patients, streamline registration, eliminate errors and improve patient satisfaction.

“Patient registration is now going to be as easy as the wave of a hand,” said Rob Casalou, regional president and CEO of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. “Biometric palm scanning will allow us to expedite the registration process and keep personal health information more secure. It’s another example of our commitment to deliver better service to our patients and their families.”

Biometric palm scans have been in use at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland since June 2016. Devices will be installed in early November at all patient registration areas at St. Joseph Mercy Livingston, St. Mary Mercy Livonia, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea.

PatientSecure® is highly accurate and works by scanning the vein pattern of a registrant or registered patient’s palm, which are unique to each individual.  The scan uses harmless near-infrared light, like the light used in television remote controls. When a patient places their hand on the black box, the device processes the vein patterns to create an encrypted and protected digital file which is then linked to the patient’s electronic health record to complete the registration process.

“The vein patterns of our hand are just as unique as fingerprints, and more reliable than name and birthdate at the point of patient registration,” said Pete Beyer, regional manager of Patient Access, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. “The device helps us register patients more accurately and in a way that better protects the security of personal information.”

Patient enrollment in the program is voluntary and a palm scan can only be used for patient identification. PatientSecure® devices are part of a nationwide Trinity Health initiative to use technology to more quickly and securely complete registration.

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