MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A California hospital says it has started identifying new patients using a biometric registration system that scans their palms.
Officials at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, Calif., said the biometric registration system "reads" patients' identities by scanning their palms' vein structures.
The system uses a near infrared light to capture a patient's palm vein pattern, generating a unique biometric template that is matched against a database of enrolled users' palm vein patterns.
"It's much easier to falsify cards and documents than a biometric attribute," said Becky Smith, manager of the new hospital's patient registration system. "Although someone can steal or falsify your insurance card and/or your driver's license, they cannot falsify your unique physical features. Once you are registered in our system, you have far more protection from someone trying to use your medical insurance and incurring medical debts in your name."
The identification system is linked with the hospitals health information system. The hospital said every prescription, treatment and diagnosis, along with other information, is added into a highly integrated digital database. The system is always available to verify and confirm that the right patient is getting the right treatment.
El Camino Hospital says it's an acute care, not-for profit facility that also uses other health information technology, including computerized order entry, electronic medical records and wireless communications.