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Facial recognition technology is coming to Virginia Hospital Center

ARLINGTON, VA – VHC Health will begin using facial biometrics for patient identification at Virginia Hospital Center and its other DC-area locations by the end of 2022, according to the Arlington-based healthcare provider. .

The healthcare provider is partnering with CERTIFY Health, which will provide biometric authentication technology. CERTIFY’s technology will be integrated with existing HCV electronic health records and administrative systems.

VHC Health has launched the Positive Patient Identification Biometric Enrollment System as part of a pilot program in Virginia Hospital Center’s Radiology and Cardiology departments, with plans to fully implement the platform by the end of the year. Eventually, during patient registration at all HCV healthcare facilities, facial biometric data will be collected from patients.

“VHC is proud to be the first health care system in the DMV region to partner with CERTIFY Health to improve the patient experience,” said Michael Mistretta, senior vice president and chief information officer, on Tuesday. at VHC Health. “This is one of many recent investments VHC has made in innovative technologies as we strive to provide the safest and most secure options for our patients and community.”

In April, Virginia Hospital Center announced it had rebranded itself as VHC Health, a change the health system says reflects its community-centered approach to providing top-quality health care to area patients. . The rebranding follows the recent completion of a new garage on the Arlington campus and the opening of several new medical practices in the area.

The purpose of positive biometric patient identification at VHC Health offices will be to verify patient identity, beginning with registration. Patient misidentification and fraud have become increasingly prevalent issues, resulting in liabilities for healthcare providers, VHC Health said.

“One of the surest mechanisms to prevent this is to embed biometric authentication into healthcare registration and procedures,” VHC Health said.

VHC Health and other healthcare providers are moving away from using biographical identification — name, date of birth, and Social Security numbers — and toward biometrics. Identifying patients based on biologically unique traits such as face, fingerprints, iris and voice will ensure that care is given to the right people, according to its proponents.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for us to have a strategic partner who is committed to innovating around the patient experience the HCV way and who is so willing to embrace some of the most advanced healthcare technologies today,” Marc Potash, CEO of CERTIFY Health, said in a statement.

Potash, who founded CERTIFY Health in 2012, previously created a payment platform called SecureNet to streamline payment technology. Potash is also the founder and managing partner of URock Ventures, a venture capital and private equity firm based in Potomac, Maryland.

Skepticism about the use of biometrics has diminished over the past decade, especially among younger generations more accustomed to using technology in most aspects of life. Many Americans already use biometrics like fingerprint, face or iris recognition technology to unlock their smartphones. Iris or face scans are also used at airports for security and customs.

But public hesitation remains over how biometric data will be stored and whether it will be used for other purposes.

According to Potash, however, his company’s technology will “protect HCV patient information and increase speed and efficiency during the registration process.”

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