Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council Provides Smart Card Supplement to the WEDI Health Identification Card Implementation Guide

Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council Provides Smart Card Supplement to the WEDI Health Identification Card Implementation Guide

Princeton Junction, N.J., October 28, 2011–The Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council today released a new white paper providing smart card guidance for the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) Health Identification Card Implementation Guide. The white paper provides WEDI-compliant smart card designs and includes a discussion of the features and benefits of smart ID cards for healthcare providers and payers.

The paper, “Complementary Smart Card Guidance for the WEDI Health Identification Card Implementation Guide,” is available for free download on the Smart Card Alliance website.

“The Smart Card Alliance supports WEDI’s goal to enable automated and interoperable identification using standardized machine-readable health identification cards,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “This white paper complements the WEDI guide by outlining how smart card technology provides a strong foundation for health ID cards. They enable improvement in healthcare processes and in patient identity verification, while securing patient information and protecting patient privacy.”

“The intent of the WEDI Guide and its underlying ANSI standard is to standardize present practice and bring uniformity of information, appearance, and machine-readable technology. It offers great benefit; yet it is a simple identification card. Smart card technology, with its far greater capacity and ability to be updated, brings opportunity for heightened security and new health applications,” said Peter Barry, co-chair, WEDI Health ID Card workgroup.

The white paper provides a thorough explanation of smart card technology, as well as the benefits of smart cards for healthcare applications for payers, healthcare delivery organizations, patients, healthcare providers, and healthcare employers. Some of these benefits include:

  • Accurate identification of the patient
  • Accurate information on patient health plan
  • Reduction in medical fraud
  • Reduction of duplicate tests and payments
  • Streamlined patient registration
  • HIPAA compliance
  • Improved patient privacy and information security
  • Support for meaningful use requirements
  • Reduced costs

“The WEDI Health ID Implementation Guide specifically mentions smart cards as an appropriate card type, and this white paper expands on the idea. Smart cards are the only technology that can provide the security and privacy features that are fundamental to any patient identity management system,” said Michael Magrath, chairman of the Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council and business development director for Gemalto.

Participants involved in the development of this document included: CSC; Datacard Group; Gemalto; Identive Group–SCM Microsystems; LifeMed ID, Inc.; Oberthur Technologies; OTI America; WatchData Technologies USA; XTec, Inc.

Healthcare identity is on the agenda as the Smart Card Alliance Healthcare Council heads to the 10th Annual Smart Card Alliance Government Conference, November 2–4, 2011 at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, DC, with pre-conference workshops on November 1st. Follow the conference and other news from the Alliance on Twitter @SmartCardOrgUSA, and Facebook at Smart Card Alliance.

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. The Healthcare Council provides a forum where all stakeholders can collaborate to educate the market on how smart cards can be used and to work on issues inhibiting the industry. Healthcare Council participation is open to any Smart Card Alliance member who wishes to contribute to the Council projects.

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. For more information please visit