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Smart Cards In Healthcare Essay

1022 words - 5 pages

Module 3 - Smart Cards

Module 3 - Smart Cards
Kari Wachs
Grand Canyon University: HCA - 360
November 19, 2011

Module 3 - Smart Cards
Smart card technology is becoming commonplace in todays society. Smart cards are also referred to as chip cards. The smart card is a plastic card that contains an embedded computer chip that stores and transacts data (Smart card basics, n.d.). The computer chip could function strictly as memory or as a microprocessor depending on the intended use of the smart card. “The data is usually associated with either value, information or both and is stored and processed within the card’s chip” (Smart card basics, n.d.). Smart cards are being used in ...view middle of the document...

Businesses and universities are using smart cards as identity cards for employees and students. They use their cards for access to data, equipment, buildings and department classrooms. Banks in Canada have been moving toward smart cards as a way to improve the security of transactions. Our country has yet to make the adoption to the smart card in replacing the traditional credit or debit cards (Smart card basics, n.d.). Because of the tremendous value and success the smart card has had in these industries, the next phase of smart card usage to health care and health care services seems to be the next logical step.
Smart cards come in several different kinds. One type is a memory card. The memory card has a stored value, which means it can be used instead of currency or bank cards. In the example of a phone card, the memory card has a predetermined number of calls available to be made and once those are complete, the card is no longer valuable. This can be reversed if the card is rechargeable. This feature can be used by consumers to obtain health care services. Insurance companies could issue a smart card with the insured’s information and benefits directly imbedded in the chip card. The consumer could take the card with them to their physician appointments and to other health care providers and their insurance benefits could be directly accessed by the provider, decreasing reimbursement wait times. Other uses of a smart card in health care would be to provide for security and confidentiality of healthcare records for patients (Smart card alliance, 2007). Even with legislation like Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), many patients lack the control over their health records. A smart card system would not only provide privacy but would enhance the patient’s control by using a PIN and require authorized hardware and software (Smart card alliance, 2007). The card is able to encrypt information to protect the privacy but still allows health care providers and facilities to share the information efficiently. “Many socialized countries have already adopted smart cards as credentials for their health networks and as a means of carrying an immediately retrievable EHR” (Smart card basics, n.d.). ...

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