Southwest General partnered with CrossChx, a Columbus, Ohio health care intelligence company, to implement a SafeChx system at various patient registration areas throughout the health center.

SafeChx will allow patients to register using their fingerprint to instantly secure their medical information.

No fingerprints are stored by SafeChx. Instead, SafeChx creates a unique identifier of more than 2,500 characters per person that is used to ensure the right person receives the right care.

Enrolling in the SafeChx system for the first time takes each patient less than 30 seconds.

In follow up visits, patient registration using SafeChx will take just seconds and provide an additional layer of identity protection.

CrossChx has found that nearly 14 percent of medical records contain serious identity errors. At the same time, the company says medical identity theft crimes are rising at a rate of 22 percent annually.

Southwest General is among the first in Northeast Ohio to begin using the technology that's used at 40 other Ohio hospitals and more than 1,000 others in 32 states.