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Akron General Patients Are Now Identified by Their Fingerprints


  Akron General Medical Center patients are the first in Northeast Ohio to use their fingerprints to check-in for treatment and access medical records.   The technology is aimed at increasing efficiency, preventing identity fraud, billing errors and improving patient outcomes. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports.

Akron General began the fingerprint ID system in November. And since then, Director of Patient Access Stacy Ickes says, each day about 200 patients add their fingerprints; only about five have declined to use it.  Besides being quicker and more accurate, Ickes says the system is also a surer way to prevent medical identity fraud.

People are "going to see that we have the scanners and they’re not going to be able to go around the system because once that fingerprint is in there and we have the photo ID, that’s what we’re going to pull up the next time that they’re coming in.”

Ickes says another advantage is that if a patient comes to the hospital and is unresponsive, someone can touch the patient’s finger to the pad and immediately pull-up their records. That speeds up treatment. The Columbus company that makes the system says it’s being used in about 200 hospital systems nationwide, and it’s in negotiations with other Northeast Ohio hospitals.