Monday, February 25, 2013

Legislation Aims to Reduce Red Tape With a Swipe of Your Driver’s License

The next time you check in to a physician’s office, you could have less paperwork to fill out if lawmakers pass Senate Bill 166. The legislation sponsored by Sen. Bob Deuell, MD (R-Greenville), would allow physicians’ office staff to swipe patients’ Texas driver licenses to get the basic information needed when they check in.

San Antonio physician Bernard “Buddy” Swift, MD, an occupational medicine specialist, testified before the state Senate Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs, and Homeland Security this afternoon in support of the legislation.

“SB 166 is a win-win for Texas’ patients and the physicians who care for them,” said Dr. Swift, who owns Texas MedClinic, a chain of 14 urgent care and occupational medical clinics in central Texas. “If passed, this legislation will reduce red tape, increase efficiency, and improve the accuracy of patient information entered into the patient’s medical record.

“When patients check in at my office, they receive a ream of paper to fill out by hand,” Dr. Swift said. “Much of this information already exists on the black strip on the back of the patient's Texas driver license. Instead of having patients spend 10 minutes filling out paperwork, and not always with the best penmanship, my staff could simply swipe their driver license.” This kind of immediate, accurate information will cut administrative costs, reduce possible errors, and enhance productivity, he told the committee.

In 2007, Texas approved the use of swiping driver licenses to admit patients to hospitals. Dr. Swift said that allowing physician practices to do the same is the next step toward more efficient patient care.

1 comment :

Steve Levine said...

Bill passes out of committee today after Dr. Swift's testimony

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