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New ID technology? Get the word out
When biometric scanning was introduced at Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, NC, registrars handed out marketing and informational material to all patients.
"This allowed patients to gain a comfort level before enrolling on their next visit," says Lisa Grodevant, assistant vice president of patient access. [The brochure and list of frequently asked questions is included with the online version of this month's Hospital Access Management. For assistance, contact customer service at (800) 688-2421 or email@example.com.]
The material was developed internally, with input from patient access, information services and marketing. Patients asked questions such as, "Will it hurt?" "Will my information be shared?" and "Will I need to enroll at each facility?" says Grodevant.
"At that time, we answered all of their questions in hopes of making them feel comfortable enough with the technology that they would choose to enroll," she says.
Rogel B. Reyes, director of patient access services at ValleyCare Health System in Pleasanton, CA, credits the favorable response of patients to the new technology largely to a public education program conducted by the hospital's marketing department. "This was done before the palm vein readers were installed, creating a 'buzz' in this already tech-savvy community," he says.
ValleyCare had pamphlets ready with Q&As to give to patients as they were enrolled, says Reyes. "We do have some patients who are cautious and ask questions about the security of the scans," he says. "These fears are usually put to rest by explaining the hospital must comply with HIPAA security rules on all patient information."