Area hospital to start taking patient photographs - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Area hospital to start taking patient photographs

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People going to the Regional Medical Center in Manchester will now have to take a photograph when seeking treatment.

The hospital says this will happen during registration.

According to the hospital, improper identification can result in treatment errors and wrong-person procedures, as well as privacy violations, billing errors, insurance fraud, and identity fraud. 

The photograph will be uploaded to the patient's electronic medical record, and visible to hospital staff providing service to the patient. 

This change is not a result to a medical error at the hospital. It's to insure patient safety.  "We've been using our name and our birth date, and then when the technology was available to do this, we were able to add that visual cue for identification, so that's the reason why we're adding this," said  quality manager, Joan Wessels.

Regional Medical Center will also require all patients over 18-years-old to show a photo ID at the time of taking the photograph, but if a patient does not want their photo taken, they won't be refused treatment.

Right now, this is taking place at just one registration area, but will happen throughout the whole hospital.

Staff say they anticipate other hospitals to make this change in the future too. 


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