A Review of Automatic Patient Identification Options for Public Health Care Centers with Restricted Budgets

Rebeca Isabel García Betances, Mónica Karel Huerta


A comparative review is presented of available technologies suitable for automatic reading of patient identification bracelet tags. Existing technologies’ backgrounds, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, are described in relation to their possible use by public health care centers with budgetary limitations. A comparative assessment is presented of suitable automatic identification systems based on graphic codes, both one- (1D) and two-dimensional (2D), printed on labels, as well as those based on radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. The analysis looks at the tradeoffs of these technologies to provide guidance to hospital administrator looking to deploy patient identification technology. The results suggest that affordable automatic patient identification systems can be easily and inexpensively implemented using 2D code printed on low cost bracelet labels, which can then be read and automatically decoded by ordinary mobile smart phones. Because of mobile smart phones’ present versatility and ubiquity, the implantation and operation of 2D code, and especially Quick Response® (QR) Code, technology emerges as a very attractive alternative to automate the patients' identification processes in low-budget situations.

Keywords— Patient identification, Automatic identification, 2D Codes, RFID, ID tags, EHR.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v4i1.4011

Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org