Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Princeton Junction, NJ, September 30, 2003 – Smart cards have a unique capability to make information access easier for users while at the same time enforcing the more robust security and privacy policies required of health care organizations to bring their environments into HIPAA compliance, according to a new Smart Card Alliance white paper released today.
“Health care organizations are actively looking for ways to lower administrative costs, increase security and make their information systems easier to use,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “With that set of goals, smart cards have a lot to offer. We created this white paper as an educational overview for decision makers in health care organizations to show how smart cards can be used to support HIPAA compliance, increase security and simplify system access for care givers and patients alike.” “HIPAA Compliance and Smart Cards: Solutions to Privacy and Security Requirements” also provides an overview on how smart cards work and outlines key implementation success factors. The white paper includes profiles of smart health card implementations including the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Mississippi Baptist Health Systems and the French, German and Taiwanese health cards.
The term HIPAA refers not only to the original law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, but also to a set of standards and regulations passed later to implement the law. HIPAA affects health care organizations in two ways: first, by strongly encouraging the conversion of paper-based health care information systems to electronic systems, and second, by mandating that the design and implementation of the electronic systems guarantee the privacy and security of patient information gathered as part of providing health care.
Smart cards are very natural and easy for health care professionals, administrators and patients to use. At the same time, on-card intelligence, processing and cryptography capabilities make smart cards uniquely capable of enabling compliance with strong privacy guidelines and of enforcing the privacy and security policies set by the health care organization.
“Since smart cards can securely store and protect data, they deliver patient and clinical benefits well beyond the basic needs of HIPAA. Critical information or its online location can be stored on the card, speeding access and retrieval. Repetitive form filling is eliminated with this portable data carrier. Information can be easily changed with up-to-the-minute facts as they develop. Medical, insurance, emergency contacts and other form-ready types of information are all examples that demonstrate how the cards are used for improving both care giving and administration in health care,” concluded Vanderhoof. Executives from the health care industry can join their peers from other sectors at the Smart Card Alliance’s fall conference “Smart Cards in Motion” taking place October 14 to 16 at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The well-attended annual event brings the best and brightest minds in the industry together in one place and offers an exceptional opportunity to learn about the role of smart cards in the growing North American market.More information is at www.smartcardalliance.org.
Individuals from 19 organizations were involved in the development of the white paper. Lead contributors included representatives from Alegra Technologies, Atmel Corporation, Datakey, Gemplus, IBM, Infineon Technologies, Lockheed Martin Management and Data Systems, MartSoft Corporation, Northrop Grumman Information Technology, Privamed, Inc., Raak Technologies, Smart Commerce Inc., Security Sciences International, TecSec and Unisys. The report, written for executives and managers, is available to both members and non-members at no charge at www.smartcardalliance.org.
About the Smart Card Alliance
The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to accelerate the acceptance of smart card technology. Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. For more information please visit http://www.smartcardalliance.org.