Promoting Two-Factor Authentication for Provider and Patient Access to EHRs and PHRs along with Strong Patient Identity Management Are Priorities for 2011, Says Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council

Promoting Two-Factor Authentication for Provider and Patient Access to EHRs and PHRs along with Strong Patient Identity Management Are Priorities for 2011, Says Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council

Princeton Junction, N.J., April 25, 2011–Priorities for 2011 are to promote and provide guidance on strong authentication for patient, provider and payer access to electronic health records, and on improved identity management for patients to combat fraud, waste and abuse, the Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council said today, also announcing its new leadership.

“The healthcare industry is at the definition stage for building a solid identity management infrastructure, and for meaningful use of electronic health records. In 2011 we plan to build on our work of this past year and continue providing comments, guidance and educational materials on strong authentication and smart card technology for healthcare professional and patient identity applications,” said Council chair Michael Magrath, Gemalto.

The Healthcare Council made strides in 2010 in helping to define the role of smart card technology in achieving meaningful use of electronic health records, including publishing the white paper ”Getting to Meaningful Use and Beyond: How Smart Card Technology Can Support Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records,” which outlines the criteria for meaningful use and how can it be attained. The Council also submitted comments to the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology stating that the requirement for strong, multi-factor authentication needs to be incorporated into Stage 2 of Meaningful Use in order to adequately protect identities, networks and information systems. In addition, smart card technology is now included in the latest version of the WEDI Health Identification Card Implementation Guide.

The newly-elected officers and steering committee that will lead the Council for 2011/2012 are:

  • Chair: Michael Magrath, CSCIP, Gemalto
  • Vice chair: Dale Grogan, CSCIP, LifeMed Card, Inc.
  • Secretary: Anna Fernezian, CSCIP, CSCIP/G, CSC
  • Gurpreet Manes, Oberthur Technologies
  • Bob Merkert, CSCIP, SCM Microsystems
  • Matthew Neuman, Giesecke & Devrient

Also in 2010, the Council submitted a statement on two-factor authentication for personal health records (PHRs) to ONC, stating that strong authentication options such as smart cards, tokens or one-time password devices should be made available to access information in electronic personal health records. This is consistent with the published National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace. To further illustrate the need for two-factor authentication for both patients and providers, the Council also published a white paper on Medical Identity Theft and held a webinar on the topic.

“The Healthcare Council’s efforts are essential as the industry moves into a digital era and stakeholders increasingly have questions and seek education on identity, technology and security,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “The Council does an excellent job of raising awareness of the critical need for a solid and secure identity management infrastructure in the healthcare industry, and educating on the technologies that can ensure security for patients and providers.”

For more information, visit the Healthcare Council’s Web page dedicated to Healthcare Identity Resources. It contains the latest information on healthcare and identity including reports, industry organizations, resources, and news.

About the Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council

The Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council brings together payers, providers, and technologists to promote the adoption of smart cards in U.S. healthcare organizations and within the national health IT infrastructure. The Healthcare Council provides a forum where all stakeholders can collaborate to educate the market on the how smart cards can be used and to work on issues inhibiting the industry.

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application 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. and Latin America. The Smart Card Alliance also offers the Leadership, Education and Advancement Program (LEAP) and Certified Smart Card Industry Professional (CSCIP) program for individuals who are involved in the smart card industry. For more information please visit