Written by Robin Crane, MBA, Customer Development Advisor, Sentara Healthcare
Let’s face this. We all like to think that we are unique, an individual like no other. But have you ever googled yourself? I just did. It was a bit scary.
There are 24 professionals on Linked In with my same name; images of both women and men who share my name that have been arrested for murder and other crimes I do not want to be associated with. Over 35 accounts on Facebook had my name. None of them were mine! So, now I must admit that even when I think having “two bird names” (I married into that) makes me “memorable,” my name is not unique.
After that brief Google search, it’s easy to see why Sentara has implemented a new patient identification system. Using just your name is not an accurate way to identify who you are and to make sure that your medical information is connected to your electronic medical record.
The new Sentara Patient Identification System is not finger printing, retinal scanning or DNA sampling. It’s much simpler.
Just place your palm on a small black box. That’s when harmless infrared waves (like those in a TV remote) scan the veins in your palm. Yep, it seems that unknown to me, and maybe you too, the veins in your palm (unlike your name) are unique to you! And yes, even if you are an identical twin, your palm scan is still individually yours.
So once you’ve completed the initial scan, (which I’ve heard only takes a minute or two), the next time you check into a Sentara facility, you may be asked for your hand instead of your identification card. Extend your hand gladly as there are two big advantages for you: (1) You definitely want your registration information correctly and securely connected to your test results and medical information; and (2) your scan is not used in any other way than just to connect your information. Now here’s the bonus, if you’re germ phobic like me, you’ll be relieved to know that the scanners are swabbed with an antibiotic solution after each use. That may sound unimportant but it’s our job to keep you safe and that includes infection control that starts as soon as you check in.
P.S. I’m still bringing my own pen to sign any paper work.
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