Recently Allina Health, a not-for-profit healthcare system in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, selected Omnicell Inc. to provide automated medication solutions for 12 acute care hospitals. The solutions that Omnicell will be providing across Allina’s integrated delivery network are meant to improve workflow efficiency, eliminating time wasting obstacles in an employee’s day so that more attention can be given to the more deserving patient.
Among the solutions that Omnicell will be providing is the OmniRx automated medication dispensing cabinet (ADC). In addition to printing patient-specific labels, the ADC includes biometric identity management in the form of the ‘Touch & Go’ fingerprint recognition security.
The ‘Touch & Go’ biometric feature on the OmniRx is a key component to the increased efficiency that hospital staff will be experiencing. Identity management works three fold in a situation like this.
First off, with biometric access control being applied to the medical cabinets, staff are going to be experiencing a much more streamlined interaction. Passwords or tokens can be forgotten or lost, blocking important access to the medication. Using another employee’s access credentials leads to sloppy records and compromised integrity of the system, while waiting for a password reset or a new card can be a massive waste of time. When patient well being is on the line, those minutes matter.
Secondly, as I touched on in the last paragraph, biometrics bring increased integrity to the medication management. A fingerprint can be lost or stolen, meaning that access can’t be compromised.
Finally, connected with the above point is the benefit of easy to track access records. The accountability of the staff accessing the medication is tied to their biometrics. Anyone abusing the system can be easier to identify since fraudulent access is much harder without passwords and cards. With biometrics, there will always be a record of who opened the case.
“Managing medications has become an increasingly complex process for hospitals that extend across multiple locations. There is a clear need to streamline this process with a fully integrated technology platform that allows customers to understand and manage the flow of medication,” summarizes J. Christopher Drew, executive vice president of field operations at Omnicell. “As Allina Health continues to expand and serve additional communities, Omnicell is proud to help establish a blueprint for a system-wide end-to-end solution to help meet their goals of increased efficiency and elevated patient care.”
Biometrics have a great number of applications in the healthcare sector. From secure BYOD solutions enabled by biometric ID management, to patient tracking in health and vaccination records, hospitals and clinics are becoming more secure and efficient by necessity and strong authentication is a major part of this equation.