East Tenn. hospitals using technology to protect identities

East Tenn. hospitals using high-tech system to protect patients' identities

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An East Tennessee hospital system is now using a high tech way to protect its patients called Fast Pass, which uses the palm of your hand as your own unique identity. An East Tennessee hospital system is now using a high tech way to protect its patients called Fast Pass, which uses the palm of your hand as your own unique identity.
Buddy Cruze placed his hand over the Fast Pass device. It uses infrared scanning technology to scan the blood cells in the veins of his palm. Buddy Cruze placed his hand over the Fast Pass device. It uses infrared scanning technology to scan the blood cells in the veins of his palm.
"It's simple. Put your hand up there and move on," emphasized Buddy Cruze. "It's simple. Put your hand up there and move on," emphasized Buddy Cruze.
A green box online indicates it's really him. A green box online indicates it's really him.

By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Medical identity theft is on the rise. The latest statistics show it's up 25 percent.

An East Tennessee hospital system is now using a high tech way to protect its patients called Fast Pass, which uses the palm of your hand as your own unique identity.

Buddy Cruze is a regular patient at Parkwest Medical Center. At the age of 80, he comes in for routine lab work to make sure his medications are working properly.

"I've been from the emergency room, to the heart cath lab on the floor," Cruze explained.

Like everyone, Cruze wants to protect himself from identity theft.

Therefore, he's happy to enroll in Covenant Health System's Fast Pass technology.

The process began in patient registration, where Cruze handed over his government-issued ID and insurance card as proof of his identity.

He then placed his hand over the Fast Pass device. It uses infrared scanning technology to scan the blood cells in the veins of his palm.

The information is converted into a series of numbers and letters, which is then stored in the hospital's database.

"The data's only kept within Covenant Health System. It doesn't go out to anywhere else and it's encrypted with a specific key only Covenant Health can use," Covenant's Business Analyst Mark Mundt explained.

"We really want to know that it is you, and we're treating you, and it's your medical record." Valerie Ellis, Parkwest Medical Center's Director of Registration said.

"It's simple. Put your hand up there and move on," emphasized Cruze.

After having his palm scanned three times during the enrollment process, the next time Cruze comes in for treatment, he'll only have to scan his hand once.

A green box online indicates it's really him.

If someone tries to come in claiming to be Buddy Cruze, a bright red "identification failed" icon pops up on his account.

The hospital calls the system an extra layer of security to protect the medical identity of patients like Cruze and let him be on his way.

Parkwest Medical Center has been offering Fast Pass since March, with more than 50,000 patients enrolled within the Covenant Health System.

The next step is to have it available in the emergency room where gathering information on a patient's identity is often tough.

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