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Overcoming NHS identification problems with Biometrics.

DigitalPersona : 12 July, 2007  (Application Story)
Biometric technology provides an effective solution for confirming patient identification in the NHS prior to treatment or surgery.
Last year hospital staff gave the wrong treatment to the wrong patient on almost 25,000 occasions. Of this number, almost 3,000 incidents occurred as a direct result of wristbands used to identify the patients.

Much of the confusion with wristbands is due to non-standardised symbols and common names including Smith and Patel. There is also the risk of wristbands being removed, switched, lost, damaged or incorrectly distributed. These frightening cases of mistaken identity can be reduced if hospitals adopt a more accurate form of identification. It is obviously not convenient or practical for hospital patients to carry identification on their person, so should hospitals look at adopting biometric solutions to avert this identity crisis?

George Skaff, VP of DigitalPersona - an expert in biometric authentication - believes that using fingerprint biometrics would solve this problem and potentially save lives. 'Fingerprint biometrics eliminates instances of mistaken identity and the tragic consequences which occur as a result. A fingerprint is not something you can lose. A fingerprint is not open to subjective interpretation, a fingerprint is something you are.'

'If a patient was identified using fingerprint identification before every procedure, not only the medical staff guarantee they giving the right treatment, they can also create an accurate electronic log of the patients time in the hospital.'

George Skaff is available for comment. If you would like to speak with George or require further information on how biometrics can be used to improve patient identification in hospitals please contact us on 020 7357 7799 or by reply.

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