Smart cards, available since the 1970s, contain a computer chip embedded on the card, making them a mini-computer. Because of this computing power, they are considered the “gold standard” for secure data exchange. Smart cards can be programmed with a multitude of applications including storing and processing data, accessing data and other functions.
Smart cards are also being used in the rapidly developing arena of identity management. Identity management’s goal is to uniquely identify an individual. It becomes most important when one is identifying an individual within a system as a means to control their access to resources or establishing their rights or limitations within the system.
Here are 8 ways smart cards – especially biometric smart cards – can restore trust, reduce costs and increase quality in health care.
1. Keeps the Genie in the bottle.
As more and more medical information is digitized and available electronically, the risk for data breaches increases. Intentional or accidental breaches of electronic medical data can cross the globe within seconds. Unlike banking and credit records where losses are generally capped by law or contract, once medical information is breached it can’t be undone. In short, since you can’t put the genie back in the bottle, smart cards provide a more secure method to store or access data.
2. With medical data increasingly becoming digitized, robust security is needed to keep it from unintentionally flying across the internet.
Once medical information is “out there” it can’t be undone, as a number of celebrities have discovered. Smart cards lock down these data bases providing encryption and secure transmission. The encryption and enhanced security, especially with biometric authentication, allows access only to identified and approved users.
Moreover, as information is organized through electronic health records and other systems, more information is more easily accessed. So, if a breach occurs, it’s likely that a lot of information is exposed. Smart cards can be used to ensure that data is accessed only by authorized persons. The card also allows for pre-defined and assigned roles so sensitive data can be seen or acted upon on a “need to” basis.
3. Smart cards can provide speedy access to data when visitekaartje met NFC chip confronted with hurricanes like hurricane Katrina as well as other disasters.
Disasters have shown that medical information needs to be accessible. In the case of hurricane Katrina, medical records stored at hospitals and doctors’ offices were lost. People who escaped the disaster area had little or no means to access prescription drug or other medical information.
A smart card tied to a person’s health information allows access to medical information anywhere there’s a computer with a smart card slot. By using the smart card, with a password and user name or a biometric identifier, the medical records can be securely linked to the identification of the person seeking the information.