Ohio-based healthcare startup CrossChx recently implemented their fingerprint scanning system, called SafeChx, at Akron General hospital in an effort to improve patient identification methods. Their biometric program has been developed to advance healthcare using technology.

With SafeChx, patients can scan their index finger and the hospital will be able to verify their identity, and pull up their electronic health record. According to TechCrunch, “CrossChx has found that more than 10% of medical records contain identity-related errors.” The new technology could help reduce human errors, identify duplicates, and improve overall patient outcomes. Funded by the state of Ohio, CrossChx has been able to continuously grow their biometric program and provide SafeChx free of cost to hospitals.

Another Ohio hospital, MetroHealth, has also been using biometric technology, but on the staff side. Providers scan their fingerprints as a security measure when administering medication, for example. The system accesses the patient’s EHR to verify which prescriptions have been ordered by the doctor and only dispenses that medication. Barcodes on the patient’s wristband and on the medication are scanned for authentication. If the medication does not match what was ordered for the patient, alerts will go off.

With such systems implemented across healthcare settings, more efficient care and better outcomes are right around the corner.

Read the full article at Crain’s Cleveland Business.


Precision medicine is an idea not often heard of. It involves leveraging health data in order to improve health care. David Crockett, Senior Director of research and predictive analytics at Health Catalyst, talks about how electronic health records can be used to target specific patients and populations, “the thrust of precision medicine is to go beyond one-size-fits-all treatments for the average patient.”

EHRs have many benefits for both patients and providers, and Crockett’s efforts are focused on “where to make the next leap.” The historical data provided by EHRs can be analyzed and used to tailor a patient’s treatment according to their specific circumstances. Executing this kind of process will be key in improving how patients are assessed and treated.

The article goes on to talk about a San Francisco predictive analytics firm, Wanda Health. The company concentrates on analyzing chronic diseases, saying, “providers can maximize the quality of life for patients while minimizing the amount of costs they present to healthcare systems.” CEO Steven Curd discusses how he began his research collecting small pieces of information about patients and using them to accurately predict potential health issues.

Crockett and Curd both agree that leveraging health data for precision medicine is absolutely possible; it’s a matter of implementing the technology into the culture of healthcare.

The idea of precision medicine has yet to make it to the forefront, but Curd says, “we are clearly headed in the right direction.”

Read the full article at Healthcare IT News.

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