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emPower eLearning: Smart Card: Ensuring HIPAA Compliance

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Smart Card: Ensuring HIPAA Compliance

The HIPAA law centers around two primary policies, conversion of the paper records into electronic format and creation of secure network, which securely exchanges, processes and stores the confidential patient health information. The prime objective is to simplify the health administration procedures and at same time ensure the security  of electronic transactions related to billing, insurance, identity and health of the patient.

To protect privacy of patient health information, it is necessary to use a very secure access system through which patients can log into the health-care network and avail various services like online treatment, health insurance and billing services, and host of other online health services, as per HIPAA compliance norms.
A perfect access system, which flawlessly supports the patient health transactions should fulfill  these criteria.
  •       Availability of usable health information.
  •       Integrity of the stored data.
  •       Privacy of the patient health information.
This is where smart card provides a perfect solution.  It contains a microchip that is embedded in the plastic card. The chip stores details of patient identity, health records, medical history, insurance details and other crucial information. The information is protected by digital signature and encryption features.The stored information cannot be changed or altered without any authorization and this helps to maintain the integrity of the health information.
Whenever the card is fed into the card reader, the microchip acts as an interface with the host computer and enables the patient to access online health services or provide the requisite information to health-care network. As the patient identity and health information is already stored in the card there is no need to enter manually, the required information, every time the patient accesses the network. In addition to this, the smart card completely eliminates the possibility of unauthorized access of patient health information as there is no confidential health information left behind in the computer of the host network.
The access record of the patient is updated at regular intervals and feedback is provided to the end user. This helps the user to maintain complete vigil over his or her health-care transactions. The passwords are stored in the card and it becomes quite easy and safe for the user to access the information because he or she does not have to remember them or note them down somewhere, which is an unsafe practice.
The health-care smart card supports biometric identification feature like iris scan, finger prints and facial scan recognition. This provides a very strong user authentication system for the user, one of the key requirements of HIPAA compliance norms.The smart card guarantees  immediate access to health-care services and at same time protects the integrity of stored data through highly secure features.

Smart card  provides a very secure patient health transaction.

Jason Gaya

Read more on HIPAA compliance at, www.empowerbpo.com

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