Ohio Healthcare Provider Uses Fingerprint Biometrics To Protect Patient Data

DigitalPersona, Inc., a provider of fingerprint identity and authentication solutions, recently announced that The Nord Center, Ohio's second largest comprehensive behavioral healthcare services provider, has chosen the company's DigitalPersona Pro fingerprint identity solution and U.are.U 4500 fingerprint readers to secure access to patient records on organization computers.

The Nord Center operates a comprehensive behavioral healthcare center which serves more than 7,500 clients and answers 18,000 calls each year. Operating the agency's emergency crisis line requires fast access to client data. DigitalPersona solutions permit The Nord Center to give individual staff immediate access to client data with individual log-ins, allowing the organization to remain compliant with federal mandates like the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

"The Nord Center's Emergency Stabilization Service (ESS) hotlines support the needs of some of Ohio's highest risk patients, meaning staff need to be ready at a moment's notice. That being said, The Nord Center considers HIPAA compliance and protecting patient health information of the upmost importance, so shortcuts are not an option," said Chris Rojek, CIO at The Nord Center. "DigitalPersona's fingerprint biometric solutions enable our ESS staff to quickly and securely obtain access to patient records, leading to faster response time which could mean the difference between life and death. Not only have the solutions improved our hotline performance, but their impact has been so significant, that we plan on integrating the solutions into all Nord Center operations, including payroll and purchasing."

DigitalPersona Pro is a fingerprint biometrics identity security solution enabling deployment of strong, secure passwords and transaction accountability to enterprise organizations. The combination of DigitalPersona Pro and U.are.U 4500 Fingerprint Readers on ESS workstations assist The Nord Center in achieving compliance with HIPAA regulations.

The solutions secure access to patient records throughout the staff usage of computers and provide instant authentication for digital signatures on health records. In addition to HIPAA compliance, DigitalPersona Pro's integration into The Nord Center's existing Microsoft Active Directory (AD) infrastructure was a driving factor for the organization's selection of the solution. Through AD integration, the solution provided auditable access records for all client data, further supporting The Nord Center's HIPAA compliance.

"Federal regulations like HIPAA are getting increasingly strict and healthcare providers are being tasked with guaranteeing the security of tremendous amounts of patient data," said Jim Fulton, vice president of marketing at DigitalPersona. "Security methods using complex, continuously changing passwords have proved impractical because quick access to information required in a medical environment is impossible. DigitalPersona is helping healthcare providers replace passwords with fingerprints, giving only credentialed employees access to patient data."

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