Identify Patient: The new obligation of health professionals

Identify Patient: The new obligation of health professionals
Identify Patient: The new obligation of health professionals

To ‘identify patient’ has become a part of health professional’s services; since patient data is of utmost importance and can cause inconvenience when breached.

For the medical industry, their role has no longer been confined to providing medications and treatments merely. Today for the medical industry, securing the patient data has also become a part of their supposed duties and obligations.

Identity theft has become an arising issue in the medical health industry, which needs to be countered in the medical health professionals. A very recent data breach resulted in some 2.2 million patients’ records getting in the hands of fraudsters. This led to the many health services companies to file for bankruptcy.

This has what made the health professionals obligatory in performing and implementing ‘identify patient’.

Medical theft without identifying patients:

Identity theft in the medical industry refers to using patient medical credentials for committing illegal activities. Often, a medical theft for exploiting free medical services, free drugs, insurance benefits. Besides these, the credentials may also be used for using the card credentials in gaining other illegal benefits.

A medical theft may also endanger the life of the patient, whose credentials have been stolen.

The reason being, the medical record, and history have been altered. This very alteration can cause undeliberate incorrect medicines being prescribed. It may also put on stake the very reputation of the medical institution.

For ease of understanding, consider this one example of a woman named Anndorie Cromer. That woman was to lose custody of her child, as a result of the identity theft. The woman gave birth to her child while using her own identity, that is, ‘Cromer’. At the onset of identity theft, the child was tested ‘false positive’ for the drugs. Consequently, there was an inquiry made and the woman stayed in the scare of losing her child, unless the inquiry proved her innocence.

Had there been a mechanism to ‘identify patient’ in the hospital, all this chaos would have never occurred in the first place

The patient identification policy for drugs prescription:

The UK pharmacies, under the guidance of the General Pharmaceutical Council, obliges the online pharmacies in verifying the ages of the drug buyers. Compliance with these laws would prove beneficial in safeguarding the pharmacies’ and patients’ interests.

The reason for this legislation has a long history. Minors or the people who are underage have been found taking the drugs, originally not prescribed to them. The use of such drugs makes the minors get addicted to them. In some cases, this addiction leads to unfortunate events too, like death.

Non-medication actors as medication identifiers:

As the world has been digitalized more than ever, the digital substitutes, as a means of providing medical services, have also emerged. Health caring apps have also been seen to be used in providing professional health services to the people. As for such apps, these apps help in connecting the doctors and patients online. For instance, Ping a Chinese App helps patients in availing authenticated and certified medical services and advice, from the comforts of their homes.

This ease, however, is vulnerable to misuses as a breach of data. Besides the threat of data breaches, there is also potential in the occurrence of misunderstanding between the patient and the doctor. In addition to it, because of the lack of in-person interaction, minors can also exploit this in getting prescriptions to restricted drugs.

Therefore, to make the most out of the non-traditional health service means, without being vulnerable to any kind of risk, it is very necessary for the health industry professionals in implementing ‘identify patient’.

Key Takeaways:

The medical professionals have their traditional roles extended. The traditional role has been challenged with the lack of ‘identify patient’ implementation.

To have the patient data protected and authenticating the identity verification of patients online — for the sake of patient and health professionals’ welfare — are some newer responsibilities incorporated in the medical health professional’s duties and obligations.