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Biometric systems that are designed to automatically recognize individu- als based on biological and behavioral traits such as fi ngerprints, palm prints or voice or face recognition are “inherently fallible” and no single trait has been identifi ed that is stable and distinctive across all groups, according to a report issued Sept. 24, 2010 by the National Research Council.. The council advises that additional research is needed at virtually all levels of design and operation to strengthen the science and improve the system effectiveness of biometrics. The systems provide “probabilistic results,” mean- ing that confi dence in results must be tempered by an understanding of the inherent uncertainty in any given system, the report says. The report identifi es numerous sources of uncertainty in the systems that need to be considered in system design and operation. “For nearly 50 years, the promise of biometrics has outpaced the application of the technology,” says Joseph N. Pato, chair of the committee that wrote the report and distinguished technologist at Hewlett- Packard’s HP Laboratories, Palo Alto, Calif. “While some biometric systems can be effective for specifi c tasks, they are not nearly as infallible as their depic- tion in popular culture might suggest.” Copies of “Biometric Recognition: Challenges and Opportunities” are available at

SECURITY New report calls biometric ID

technologies ‘inherently fallible’

Master data solution for ICD-10 remediation debuts


On October 1, 2013, the U.S. healthcare

system will transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 as the HIPAA mandated code update is set to begin. ICD (international classifications of diseases) codes are medical diagnosis and procedure codes used for billing and health insurance reimburse- ment, as well as statistical analysis, clinical, epide- miological and quality reporting. These codes are used in the U.S. and around the world, although the U.S. is the last major country to migrate to ICD-10. HighPoint Solutions has teamed with Siperian to develop the ICD-10 Appliance. The appli- ance serves as a centralized point for disease and procedure master data and is pre-populated with ICD-9 and ICD-10 CM, PCS codes, GEMS and reimbursement mappings.

“Chaos will ensue if payers and providers let their vendors create separate mappings and rules for each application,” says John Woll- man, executive vice president of healthcare, HighPoint. “The key is to utilize a master data solution to create a single business process man- agement layer with centralized rules, mappings and translations that can be applied uniformly to all applications.” More information: www.

Hospitals pick McKesson pharmacy robot to establish bar-code readiness BAR CODING

Four leading acute-care hospitals have chosen McKesson’s robotic

medication dispensing and integrated pharmacy au- tomation solutions as part of a total bar-code-based pharmacy system for medication safety and operational effi ciency. The dispensers ensure that patient medica- tions picked by the robot are bar-code scanned for accuracy before leaving the pharmacy.

The most recent hospitals to contract for the au- tomated solutions are: Chesapeake Regional Medical Center (Chesapeake, Va..), Knapp Medical Center (Westlaco, Texas), Nash General Hospital (Rocky Mount, N.C.) and Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center (Bronx, N.Y). These organizations join approxi-

mately one-third of the nation’s large and medium-size hospitals that already use the ROBOT-Rx system. Nationally, the solution dispenses a combined half a billion medication doses error-free each year. The robot has proven to increase medication dispensing accuracy to greater than 99 percent while reducing pharmacist labor to check medications by 90 percent, according to its maker.

The federal government established incentives for healthcare providers that demonstrate meaningful use of certifi ed EHR systems. Many hospitals view phar- macy automation as an essential foundation to better position themselves for the ARRA funding. More in- formation:



November 2010 5

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