Overcoming patient and provider skepticism
Though consumers are using biometric technology more often, patients and healthcare staff still need to be educated on how it works and why the organization is using these solutions, says Kelly.
“Healthcare organizations that are implementing biometrics will want to be prepared to overcome any stigma associated with this type of technology,” Kelly says. “Some providers or patients may be concerned that the government will get access to their information. However, the data is never shared outside the health system, and with some forms of biometrics such as palm vein recognition, there is no forensic value.”
According to a 2018 survey of 1,000 people by the Center for Identity at the University of Texas, Austin, 58% of respondents feel very comfortable with fingerprint recognition technology and about 33% are comfortable with other forms of biometrics technology.
Trader says that the biggest barrier that health organizations face when implementing biometrics is overcoming a culture that is resistant to innovation.
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“Patients are becoming increasingly tech savvy and they expect an experience like hospitality or retail,” Trader says. “If health systems acknowledge and embrace this fact, then moving forward with biometrics should not be a difficult process. There will always be skeptics but they are in the vast minority and many of them are typically won over when they see the technology in action and witness first-hand the impact that it delivers.”
Aarnes says it was important to develop on “elevator speech” for staff to explain to patients how the technology would be used and data would be stored.
“With our first launch, we really learned to stay away from using the verbiage, ‘scanning your iris’ because people have a negative connotation with the word ‘scan,’” Aarnes said. A lot of our staff training was educating them on how to speak to a patient about the technology. The technology in itself is pretty easy. It’s really just finding that sweet spot of informing and educating our patients that this is for their benefit in safety and ease of registration.”
So far, the health system has had 10,000 patients enrolled using iris recognition.