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Hospital trials facial-recognition technology to ID patients

Facial recognition technology might be something you would expect to see while watching a blockbuster movie or crime show, but for staff at Epworth Freemasons in Melbourne, it was part of the patient-identification process.

Photo: Epworth HealthCare

Epworth HealthCare trialed the use of biometrics for patient identification in December 2016. The technology was set up after the team discovered the standard identification system was causing tension as it sometimes involved staff asking patients who they knew well for their name, address and date of birth to remain compliant.

The technology was trialed with radiation oncology patients, some of whom reported back that they were surprised the hospital wasn’t already using the system.

Nursing Review spoke with Fran Brockhus, director of clinical services, performance improvement, at Epworth HealthCare, who co-presented on the topic at the Digital Health Summit in Melbourne, to find out what else those involved in the trial had to say about the intervention and how Epworth dealt with patient confidentiality.

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