NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – New technology is helping hospitals get information about their patients without a single piece of paper.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman In Manhattan

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Large stacks of paperwork and copies of your insurance card used to be what patients could expect when being admitted to the hospital. But now, all that information is right in the palm of your hand.

“It captures the vein pattern,” said NYU Langone Medical Center vice president Kathryn McClellan about the new machine. “We can immediately find you record. We don’t have to look up your social security number. We don’t have to put in your entrance information.”

She says Langone is the first hospital of the northeastern United States to use the new palm scanners. “It’s been used extensively in Japan for ATMs,” she told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.

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The hospital looked at various ways to cut down on mistakes and medical identity theft.

“Fingerprints have a negative connotation in the world. So most people don’t like having their fingerprints taken,” she said, adding the palm scan is more accurate. “It’s fairly new, but I have to tell you, it’s catching on very quickly.”

The hospital says it only takes about a minute for a patient to be initially entered into the system while the scan itself only takes a few seconds.

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