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New hand scanners being used in local hospital to identify patients

6:33 AM, Dec 18, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If you are headed to a Baptist Health hospital, you may notice something a little different when you check-in.

You used to have to give your name, a form of ID, often a social security number when you checked into hospitals, but now all you may need is your palm.

Baptist Health is using new technology now that identifies each patient by the vein pattern in their hand.  The technology is called the Palm Vein Biometric Identification System.

The computer stores the patient's vein pattern as a binary number connected to your file, so anywhere you go within the Baptist Health system, you can be identified and your records pulled up by simply scanning your hand.

The Director of Information Services, Jim Bilsky, says the motives behind this new technology is to stop identity theft and ID Card sharing. Also to help identify patients that are brought in unconscious during emergency situations.

"We've only had one or two people who have refused to do it and their concerns are more about what it will be used for. So we hand them a brochure that explains it is very confidential information and doesn't have much information about them at all except for their vein pattern." says Bilsky.

Bilsky says the information will stay within the Baptist Health system only and it cannot be used by the legal system or law enforcement.

You can decline to have your hand scanned if you choose. You will just have to present ID whenever you come into the hospital.

It is already at the downtown campuses and in Nassau County and will be in the beaches locations this week.

First Coast News

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