Nov 4, 2016
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According to The Baker Orange, student-athletes at Baker University have started using finger-scanning technology to sign in to the athletic training room. The system is also connected to the electronic medical records (EMR) of each athlete. By having medical records that are instantly accessible and constantly updated, the athletic trainers at Baker hope this technology will help keep athletes healthy and focused toward their goals.

According to Baker Athletic Trainer Lynsey Payne, one of the immediate benefits of the new technology is getting students checked in faster.

“It helps cut down time that we would spend documenting, which allows us to be with the athletes more,” Payne said.

The athletic trainers at Baker had been looking into this type of finger-scanning system for a while after learning that several nearby colleges were using a similar system. The money to pay for the technology was built into the sports medicine department’s budget. And because Baker went with a newer version than their peers, it is able to look up injuries faster.

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Sophomore men’s soccer player Evan Eckwall explains how the system works when it first scans a person’s finger.

“It reads who I am, goes into my file, and asks what I am doing in the [athletic] training room,” he said.

Then, each athlete records what type of training they will be doing or if they will be receiving any treatment for an injury. The system inputs that data into the athlete’s EMR to track their health and training progress. An EMR is essentially a digital version of a paper chart that contains all of a patient’s medical history from one practice. It can be used for diagnosis and treatment and can help athletic trainers monitor the health of their student-athletes. Some of the benefits of using an EMR over paper records is that it tracks data over time, identifies people who are due for preventive visits and screenings, monitors how athletes measure up to certain parameters, and improves overall quality of care.

Though some student-athletes are still getting used to the new technology, the finger-scanning system has helped to improve the overall efficiency of the athletic training room at Baker. It has cut down on the amount of time athletes spend signing in, maximized the time spent training, reduced paper waste, and provided a means for faster care and decision making from athletic trainers. 

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