BayCare Health Systems reduces duplicate medical records and improves patient safety with Imprivata PatientSecure

Key Facts




Industry Beds:3,564


  • Issues with patient identification process
  • Duplicate medical records
  • Identity theft and insurance fraud risks


Imprivata PatientSecure


  • 42% reduction in duplicate medical records
  • Increased patient safety
  • Improved identity theft protection

BayCare Health System is a community-based health system located in the Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater areas of Florida. BayCare spans 12 non-profit hospitals and outpatient facilities, offering comprehensive healthcare services.

The challenge

BayCare was concerned that a potential increase in patient identification issues could interfere with its commitment to provide the best quality care to patients. To address these potential challenges, BayCare identified a number of areas for further improvement. Specifically, they wanted to improve their patients’ experience of the patient identification process, reduce their duplicate medical records, and address patients’ growing concerns about the perceived security risks of divulging their personal information at check in.

Issues with the traditional patient identification process

BayCare was using a traditional photo ID-based patient identification process; patients provided their photo ID and insurance card to hospital registration staff and were asked to provide a number of personal details to confirm their identity. This process was proving ineffective and time-consuming. Some 38% of patients did not bring appropriate photo identification or insurance cards with them on their visits to BayCare facilities, making it difficult for patients to check in for their treatments in a timely manner. Many patients also felt uncomfortable divulging sensitive personal information (such as Social Security Numbers) during the patient check in process, because their information could be easily overheard in public registration and waiting areas.

Duplicate medical records

BayCare identified that it had some 30,000 duplicate medical records across its patient record database, compromising roughly 2% of patient records. BayCare was concerned that these duplicate medical records could jeopardize patient safety and cause inefficiencies in the patient treatment process. BayCare determined that many duplicate medical records were caused by basic transcription errors made during the patient check in or registration process (simple spelling mistakes or inconsistent naming conventions can easily create multiple records for a single patient). These duplicate medical records often included partial or inaccurate medical histories. BayCare was concerned that, if patients were treated based on

incomplete or inaccurate medical records, their treatments could prove ineffective or harmful. Upon further investigation, BayCare discovered that a large number of their duplicate medical records could be traced back to Emergency Department check in processes. In emergency care situations, patients often arrive at the hospital in unconscious or severely compromised states and cannot provide their personal information or identification cards to hospital staff.

Identity theft and insurance fraud risks

A large number of BayCare’s patients were growing more aware of, and concerned about, medical identity theft risks because Florida was identified as the state with the most medical identity theft problems in the US. Subsequently, BayCare’s patients were beginning to voice their concerns about the risk of medical identity theft and insurance fraud caused by traditional, photo ID-based patient identification processes that relied on cards and other demographic information that could be easily stolen, shared, forged, or abused. BayCare grew even more aware of the severity of these problems when Emergency Department staff began noticing an increased number of patients using fake identification credentials to seek powerful prescription drugs for illegal use.

BayCare responded to their patients’ concerns by taking action. To improve patients’ safety and check in experience, BayCare began their search for a patient identification solution to reduce the likelihood of new duplicate medical records and eliminate the need for patients to provide photo IDs or highly sensitive personal information during their routine check ins.

The solution

BayCare chose Imprivata PatientSecure™ to address their patient identification problems. Imprivata PatientSecure is a positive patient identification solution that uses palm vein biometric technology to accurately and securely identify patients and retrieve their digital health records across multiple clinical systems at any entry point of care. Imprivata PatientSecure creates a 1:1 match between patients’ unique palm vein scans and their individual medical records and integrates directly with existing EMR, EMPI, HIS, and ADT systems.

Imprivata PatientSecure integrates a palm vein recognition scanner with advanced patient matching software. The biometric scanner uses a nearinfrared light wave (the same technology used in television remote controls) to capture the unique vein patterns in a patient’s palm. During the initial enrollment process, a patient places their palm on the scanner and it produces a digital representation of their unique vein pattern. Imprivata PatientSecure associates this unique biometric representation with the patient’s individual medical record, recorded in the hospital’s EMR. Once enrolled, a returning patient simply scans their palm and provides their date of birth.1 Then, Imprivata PatientSecure accurately identifies the patient and automatically retrieves their individual medical record.

Imprivata PatientSecure palm vein recognition technology offers a powerful, user-friendly solution to hospitals’ patient identification problems. Each patient’s palm vein pattern is unique and stable over their lifetime, making palm vein recognition technology an ideal method for accurately identifying patients and protecting against identity theft. Imprivata PatientSecure can even be used to identify unconscious Jane and John Doe patients admitted to Emergency Departments. And, because palm vein recognition relies on biometric data instead of transcribing multiple pieces of patient information, simple typing errors cannot cause Imprivata PatientSecure to inadvertently create duplicate medical records during the patient check in process. Similarly, Imprivata PatientSecure cannot be defrauded by stolen photo IDs or SSNs, as it does not require patients to present photo IDs or share highly sensitive personal information. The privacy and security Imprivata PatientSecure affords to patients directly contributes to high patient success and adoption rates. Patients appreciate the non-intrusive palm scanning process that protects their information and their identities.

The results

With Imprivata PatientSecure, BayCare patients no longer have to provide sensitive personal information to hospital staff, or worry about their information being stolen. BayCare also achieved a substantial reduction in duplicate records in their database. Before implementing Imprivata PatientSecure, BayCare had some 30,000 cases of duplicate medical records. Within a year, this number was reduced by 42% to less than 18,000 cases.

After taking action to address their patient identification concerns, BayCare’s new patient identification system no longer created any duplicate records during the registration process. And, enrolling patients into the Imprivata PatientSecure system simplified BayCare’s process for dealing with existing duplicate medical records. When patients with duplicate medical records enrolled into the Imprivata PatientSecure system, their biometric scan was associated with their active, complete record, and their incomplete duplicate records were deactivated. This process made it easier for BayCare to eliminate the deactivated duplicate records during their annual MPI clean up process.

Ultimately, by listening to the concerns of their patients, and advocating for improved patient check in processes, BayCare achieved significant duplicate medical record reductions, improved patient safety, and augmented their patients’ care experiences.