Healthcare innovations: Baruch MBA Grad presents the Patient Identification Shield

While Baruch College MBA graduate Michael Gilvary regrets not majoring in entrepreneurship, he works for a company vested in creating disruptive technologies to enhance patient satisfaction in the healthcare field.

In nursing school, students are taught to always verify a patient’s identity by checking their wristband. In the 2003 case of one 28-year-old female patient awaiting surgery, the nurse reeled off a list of questions and the woman, anxious about her operation, absentmindedly affirmed all the nurse’s queries. Luckily, the mix-up was spotted before the patient was wheeled into the operating theater for the wrong surgery.

Patient misidentification is a major issue among healthcare providers, leading to mismatched prescriptions and medical records, erroneous treatment or even patient identity theft. Wristband IDs for hospital inpatients are known to chafe, bruise or constrict blood flow – particularly in the case of newborn babies, who sport the bands on their ankles as their wrists are too small. As Gilvary points out, the wristbands can be easily cut off by the patient and are often removed by healthcare providers during routine procedures like administering an intravenous drip.

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Now COO at Cutaneous Information Technologies, Gilvary and his team have created the Patient Identification Shield as an alternative to the wristband ID. Applied like any semi-permanent, water-soluble tattoo, the Patient ID Shield can be placed anywhere on the body and customized in terms of size, shape and content to meet the patient’s needs. It can even be color-coded to alert doctors and nurses to specific allergies, disorders, or risk of falling, for instance. Aside from displaying the standard reading of name, date of birth and blood type, each Patient ID Shield bears a unique QR code.

A doctor or nurse need only scan the code using a smartphone to see up-to-date information on the patient such as their last consultation with a doctor, existing medication prescriptions, and their course of treatment on a complementary mobile app developed by the company. Gilvary adds: “we can even place the ID shield on your forehead in a disaster situation.” The Patient ID Shield will soon be piloted at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City on a trial cohort of inpatients. Nominated as one of the top three innovations for the Northwell Hospital System, the Patient ID Shield is vying for funding against two other healthcare innovation products that aim to change the way medical treatment is administered.