California hospital system incorporates 'eyeprints' for improved patient identification

Fresno, Calif.-based Community Medical Centers has deployed RightPatient software that uses a patient's iris pattern, or eyeprint, to match the patient with his or her medical record.

The hospital system has incorporated the eyeprint devices at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, Clovis (Calif.) Community Medical Center and Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital, with plans to expand the technology to its other centers soon, according to a Fresno Bee report.

Patients being admitted to the facility for the first time are asked to look into a small rectangular mirror so that staff can photograph the patient and their iris patterns. The patient's eyes are not scanned, rather they are photographed with a high-resolution digital camera. The photos are only displayed in the patient's EMR.

Staff members can use the eyeprints to match patients to the correct EMR, thus improving patient identification and preventing chart mix-ups.

Patient identification was among the ECRI Institute's top 10 patient safety concerns for healthcare organizations in 2017.

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