Apr 25, 2017
Speedy Sign-Ins

This article first appeared in the April 2017 issue of Training & Conditioning.

In October of 2016, athletic trainers at Baker University were looking for a more efficient way to sign players into the athletic training room than traditional pen and paper. With the help of two new tools, athletes now sign in using a trait unique to each individual — their fingerprints. This technology has streamlined the way Baker athletic trainers provide and track care.

The devices consist of two biometric scanners connected to touch-screen monitors. Provided by a company called Vivature, they work alongside the athletic training room’s electronic medical record (EMR) system, which stores all of the athletes’ health information.

To sign in, athletes place a finger on one of the scanners. Their name appears, and once it is confirmed, they can view any injuries or select an evaluation for a new ailment.

“We close out injuries that are fully healed, so athletes only see their active injuries,” says Baker Athletic Trainer Lynsey Payne, MS, LAT, ATC. “If they have multiple injuries, they select the one they are treating during that session.”

After choosing their injury, athletes then pick the activity they will be doing that day. Most have already met with Payne or Athletic Trainer Austin Hills, LAT, ATC, to discuss their treatment needs before signing in.

“We usually tell them what to do,” says Hills. “There is a bank of treatments, rehab exercises, and services that they choose from, including everything from ice packs to ultrasounds.”

So far, the perks of having the biometric scanners have been numerous. For one thing, they are a big time-saver for Payne and Hills. Previously, they had to manually record all sign-ins and treatments.

“Now, our new system automatically logs everyone who comes into our athletic training room,” says Payne. “This helps us better track who has been in for the day and what they have done. And then we can e-mail injury reports to coaches with the touch of a button.”

Further, the biometric scanners act as a third party billing system for the athletic training room. They decrease denied claims and the time it takes for claims to be paid, which helps generate revenue. “Vivature helps us bill students’ primary insurance for the services they receive,” says Payne. “From that revenue, we are able to pay off the scanners. This helps boost our profits so we can get more and better equipment for our student-athletes.”

Instituting the new fingerprint scanners was fairly easy. “We did orthopedic screenings with our winter and spring athletes,” says Payne. “During these evaluations, we had all of the athletes scan in thumbprints or fingerprints and put their information into the EMR so it would be ready for them whenever they needed treatment.”

“In the future, new and incoming athletes will be able to submit all of their information online,” adds Hills. “Then when they come in to the athletic training room, we will enroll them in the biometric scanner.”

Payne says that most of the athletes have bought into it wholeheartedly. “Nowadays, with all of the technology kids have, they easily understand it,” adds Hills. “They really caught on quickly.”

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