New healthcare white paper published



The Smart Card Alliance has published a new white paper on the use of smart cards in healthcare.

The white paper, ‘Getting to meaningful use and beyond: how smart card technology can support meaningful use of electronic health records’, describes how smart card technology and smart card-based systems can aid in meeting the requirements set forth for meaningful use of electronic health records in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, while addressing many of the security and privacy challenges that come with electronic health records and health data exchange.

“The US healthcare industry’s transition from a paper to a digital infrastructure is a huge undertaking with goals that seem to be in opposition to each other – keeping patient data heavily protected, yet readily available to healthcare providers, facilities and patients. This white paper shows how smart cards can help provide the combination of functionality and security that is essential to meaningful use of electronic health records,” says Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance.

In the white paper, the Smart Card Alliance sets out and details a number of ways that smart cards can aid meaningful use:

·         Smart cards are used in federal standards for identity verification, data access and security (eg the FIPS 201 Personal Identity Verification (PIV) standard for Federal employee and contractor identification cards).

·         Smart cards augment the security of electronic medical records (EMRs)/electronic health records (EHRs) by providing strong authentication which corresponds to at least Level 3 assurance defined in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) M-04-04 memorandum on e-authentication guidance.

·         Smart cards can carry digital certificates which provide the highest level of trust in identity management for the exchange of data across networks.

·         Commercially available smart card software can improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care delivery while improving care coordination and data access.

·         Smart card technology can help institutions manage a qualified EHR by integrating information from other external sources.

·         Smart card technology honours the goals of certification criteria by: promoting interoperability, promoting technical innovation which embraces adopted standards, keeping implementation costs low, considering best practices, and providing a modular solution.

Participants involved in the development of the white paper included: CSC; Gary Christoph; Gemalto; Giesecke & Devrient; IBM; IDmachines; LifeMed ID; MasterCard Worldwide; Mount Sinai Medical Center; Oberthur Technologies; OTI America; SCM Microsystems; XTec.

The whitepaper is available for free download from the Smart Card Alliance website. 

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