Is fingerprint identification the future for healthcare specialists?

are fingerprints the future of healthcare

BIO-Key International, a company which specializes in advanced fingerprint solutions, announced that its healthcare technology partners will present its new initiative to implement fingerprint authentication for patient identification at the HIMSS 2014 conference in Orlando, Fla. The company’s partners include Allscripts, Caradigm, Epic, HealthCast Solutions and Key Source International.

There are pros and cons to this new way to collect, store and receive information. The pros include convenience, fast access and easy to use features. This system is convenient because physicians, nurses, physician assistants and secretaries don’t need to worry about files taking up space or paying a set amount each time they need a patient’s file. Additionally, the patient files can be accessed a lot faster by fingerprint identification compared to storing the files and having to wait for someone to find them. The process of obtaining patient files that are tucked away within thousands of other files in a storage facility can take days or even weeks. If the clinic or hospital uses Electronic Health Records (EHRs), passwords can become tedious and the technology needed is expensive. The use of BIO-Key’s fingerprint identification is more cost efficient and doesn’t require passwords, but is still completely secure. Doctors are required to keep their patients’ files for ten years so the option of obtaining EHRs with just a swipe of the patient’s fingertips is attractive. And not only is it fast, it’s extremely easy to do.

There are cons though. Although unlikely, in the case that there is a security issue and someone’s information is hacked into, fingerprints can’t be changed. Fingerprint technology is difficult to copy but unlike PINs or passwords, if there is a case of fraud fingerprints can’t be changed to protect the person’s security. The use of fingerprint authentication for hospitals and clinics would have to be under tight security to ensure protection against fraud.

As for the demonstrations at HIMSS 2014, these will include live enrollment from attendees who want to experience the technology in real time. AllScripts TouchWorks, Sunrise Clinical Manager and Professional EHR will be present at the booth.

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