Your name: Derrick McClamb
Title of your paper: Thumbprint Security in the Medical World
As technology has moved forward so have the laws and requirements for how medical records are entered stored, and archived. There are now laws that mandate that healthcare organizations securely store medical records in digital formats. This requires that security mechanisms not only secure records, but ensure the privacy of the patient. One security feature that has seen promise over the last few years is identification via the finger print of the medical record owner. Using the patient’s own fingerprint, specifically a thumbprint as identification to sign in at the front desk of a healthcare provider or to access security devices throughout medical facilities, helps to counter the potentially devastating risk of unauthorized access or stolen medical records. Having patient medical authorization via thumbprint alleviates the need for carrying medical, insurance, and prescription information on their person when visiting the practitioner. This technology also has the capability to be tied to payment options to cover co-pays that often slows down the check-in process. This technology is not without problems. Security threats include the system failing to work as intended and hacking. In cases where the system fails, patients that normally do not have identification (ID) with them may have problems with access to certain areas where this security is used. -
When finger print technology began
The first healthcare institution on record according to Gary (2011) was the Catholic Health System in Buffalo, New York. This roll out required fingerprints from two or three of both hands and several forms of ID for the initial visit and used fingerprint only after that to check-in patients in less than 30 seconds. The Catholic Healthcare System extended this program by equipping La Porte hospital with seven fingerprint devices. Appleby (1997) reported that the new technology worked well, the new fingerprint authorization system reduced check-in time from 5 minutes to 10 seconds. The thumbprint technology is also being used in the first responder vehicles. My Choice thumbprint software, according to Mortland (2010) it is currently marketed for use in emergency rooms and practices that cater to elderly patients who often do not remember their illness or medications they are currently taking. Akron General Medical Center for example uses the My Choice plan to retain all of their patient information for an annual fee of $29.95 per patient.
Efforts to make the technology more user-friendly was also making strides during this time. For example, Identix thumbprint technology was created as a plug and play hardware that automatically installed when plugged into the USB of a computer. The Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio took full advantage of these devices by implementing throughout the hospital. 1000 seats of Identix' BioLogon software and 75 BioTouch USB readers were integrated and deployed by Single Sign-On provider Eclipsys, to authenticate physicians who prescribe drugs online. It was noted that the decision to implement Identix was its ease of use, there was no need for special training and the directions were simple to follow. Eclipsys' a Sunrise Clinical Manager's Knowledge-Based Orders in conjunction with Sunrise Critical Care by Children's Hospital are a part of the ongoing effort to provide the highest quality pediatric care by utilizing the strongest authentication tools available that enable compliance with healthcare privacy laws. (Frances Zelazny of Identix Incorporated). “ According to officials at Digital Persona,(Lewis) when the biometric technology addresses compliance with industry regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, by helping...
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