Know Your Patient (KYP) – the next big thing in health care

  • Richard Marley
  • February 06, 2020
  • 7 minutes read
  • 2867

Its high time the hospital industry must think beyond providing just giving medical assistance to their patients – securing patient privacy and data is becoming vital. 

One problem that literally every industry faces nowadays is fraud/scam/manipulation or whatever you wish to call it. Surprisingly it doesn’t change much across industries. One fraud “identity theft” is raising havoc, causing losses of worth millions of dollars to businesses. The health care industry is not devoid of these frauds. The recent AMCA data breach exposed 2.2 million patient records and caused the company to file for bankruptcy. The need for identity screening of patients is increasing. 

On the other hand, the world is becoming completely digital and the need to monitor this rapid digitization is necessary. Given these rapid changes, regulatory authorities are also concerned about patient rights and misdelivery of services. Let’s have a look at some common use cases of Know Your Patient (KYP) in the health care industry.

Ponemon Institute chairman, Dr. Larry Ponemon said; “We don’t think this is an anomaly, we think this crime is becoming more popular with criminals because a medical record is actually more valuable than other forms of personally identifiable information, like a credit or debit card record.”

One stolen medical identity may cause a patient to lose his/her life. Because when a criminal uses the stolen medical credentials to get free services the medical record is altered for his personal medical history, which is definitely different from the medical credentials of the victim. Or it may tarnish the reputation of the medical identity theft victim, and the hospital who took patients with fake identities. 

The consequences of medical identity theft are critically devastating, for example, A woman named Anndorie Cromar was about to lose custody of her four children due to medical identity theft. A woman gave birth to a child using Cromar’s identity and the child tested positive for drugs. This raised havoc in Cromar’s life when an inquiry started on her. In case the hospital had verified the identity of that woman it would have saved a lot of time, effort and money of the identity theft victim, child protection agencies, and the hospital as well. 

Most of the times people just let go of this negligence conducted by the hospital but what about those who sue the hospital management? It will definitely cost monetary and reputational loss to the hospital. So why not prevent all this destruction with a few seconds verification of your patients. 

Health care is a massive yet delicate industry where human life is at stake. That’s why doctors and paramedical staff spend years in medical schools, laboratories and hospitals learning the ultimate trick to save lives. Sometimes there are black sheep among these skilled people who claim to have necessary skills and certifications but it is a blatant lie. This lie was told by a woman in Morristown in the U.S. She successfully manipulated at least eight health care providers, regarding her experience and medical certifications. Thankfully she was arrested in 2019 and jailed along with a fine of $750,000. Such incidents are the indication that identity fraud is prevalent in the health care sector. Identity screening of paramedical staff is also inevitable. Online verification of paramedical staff before hiring them takes just a few seconds but saves the hospital from major losses.  

Verify the age before handing over those prescribed drugs

Online pharmacies in the UK are required to verify the age of their buyers under the latest guidance of the General Pharmaceutical Council. Compliance with these laws is vital to secure patients’ and drug seller’s interests. Sometimes minors use the prescription of an elder to get drugs that are not entitled to them. This misuse of prescriptions leads to drug addiction and excessive drug intake by minors that may lead to health/life loss. So verify the age of your customers before handing over any drugs to them.   

Also, the authorities are not ignorant of the information collected by the hospitals. Proper security and record of patient information are necessary to fully comply with the data protection laws. For instance, in the U.S HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is implemented. 

The law states

“It included Administrative Simplification provisions that required HHS to adopt national standards for electronic health care transactions and code sets, unique health identifiers, and security.” 

Shufti Pro’s identity screening and age verification solutions are fully compliant with GDPR which means your patient data is handled with utmost care. 

Increase in non-traditional players in health care industry

The health care industry is evolving and digital substitutes are emerging in the industry. Health care apps are available where people can connect with doctors online and get prescriptions. For example, China’s Ping An Good Doctors App helps patients get certified medical advice while sitting at their homes. 

This evolution is threatened by misuse, breach and un-monitored use of patient data. On the other hand, the risk of misguidance is also high as in this case patient doesn’t have a face to face interaction with a doctor. KYP screening is the best way to know maintain a transparent patient to doctor relationship in cloud spaces. It ensures that the patient is telling the right symptoms and not lies to get prescribed drugs. 

In this scenario where fraud and health care industry is evolving the need for equally competent solutions for patient’s identity verification is increasing. It can be conducted with the help of digital identity screening solutions. 

How does KYP (identity screening of patients) work?

KYP is another name of Know Your Customer (KYC) modified for specific industrial usage. It helps hospitals to reduce the risk of medical identity theft related crimes, and misuse of patient’s information.  

KYP screening starts with the integration of an identity screening and age verification solution with the website/web portal or app of your hospital or drug store. Once the integration process is completed the patient is verified through his identity document. 

Let’s see how verification is performed.

  1. The patient shows an identity document to the selfie camera of his phone or a webcam along with his face. 
  2. The AI-based system detects and fetches the information from the identity document and matches it with the information provided by the patient at the time of registration. The identity screening solution also verifies the identity document for default format and ensures that fake identity documents are not used for verifications. 
  3. Biometric authentication is conducted through liveness detection and 3D depth perception to perform face verification. 
  4. Age verification can also be conducted through Date of Birth verification. 
  5. Verification results are shown to the patient and updated in the back-office within seconds. 

Hospitals are a place where every second matter, swift identity screening solution ensures that minimum time is spent on verification measures and the patient is getting the medical services he/she is entitled to. The rise in medical identity theft is demanding this advancement in patient onboarding processes.