Fingers on the pulse of the healthcare industry

November 2007 Access Control & Identity Management, Healthcare (Industry)

In the fast paced environment of the emergency room, patients, medical information, and employees must be efficiently managed with very little time for extensive thought or time consuming practices.

Healthcare providers often find it difficult to securely manage all of this crucial information. As governments continue to tighten security and strengthen patient privacy through initiatives such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), many healthcare software providers and organisations are turning to alternative methods of security to ensure regulatory compliance and preparedness for future initiatives. In essence, there is no longer a trend of doing just the bare minimum necessary to comply, but rather a trend to go a step beyond. Biometric fingerprint software technology is probably one of the most common technologies that healthcare software providers have chosen as a means to go beyond what governments require.

Even in the early stages of use, healthcare providers are already beginning to reap the rewards of fingerprint technology. Hospitals, for instance, use this technology to control access to storage bins of medication, accurately identify patients, safeguard patient medical records and relieve doctors of the burden of having to remember complex usernames and passwords.

Traditional methods of identification can be easily compromised. Passwords and PIN numbers can be forgotten or shared, and ID cards can be lost or stolen. This severely affects security in a health care facility. With biometric technology, patient information and privacy are better protected because each fingerprint is unique and cannot be stolen. Employees and patients can be easily enrolled in the system by scanning their finger on a fingerprint reader a few times consecutively. After the initial enrolment process, only one fingerprint scan is needed to correctly identify an individual. With the biometric system, individuals who have not been registered with the software cannot log into the system. Employees can even clock in and out with their fingerprint. The system increases employee accountability by providing a realtime audit trail of employee activity.

The cutting-edge fingerprint technology does not save an image of the actual fingerprint. Each fingerprint is converted into a binary string that can only be utilised within the biometric provider's software, providing the ultimate in security.

For more information contact M2SYS Technology, [email protected],

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