Efficient and reliable patient identify management will be an essential element in making the benefits of integrated care a reality. This was the core message at the launch of a joint new publication from COCIR and the SIA entitled ‘Identity in Healthcare’ at the HIMSS Europe and Health 2.0 conference in Barcelona.
The publication brings much-needed clarity and key recommendations to the ID challenge facing the health sector. This publication stresses the pivotal role that verified health identities will play in bringing urgently-needed efficiencies to Europe’s healthcare systems. However, as healthcare providers increasingly embrace electronic medical records (EMRs), the sector is struggling to manage identities and ensure effective privacy protections for patients.
This publication makes four recommendations on how to prepare the foundations for effective health identity management:
- First, governments should adopt stronger policies on health ID formats. When creating Patient, Health Insurance and Healthcare Provider (HCP) IDs, the process should mirror the security requirements used for Citizen IDs. In addition, healthcare professionals should be incentivised to verify Patient ID at the point of care as a matter of routine.
- Second, leverage the potential of the eIDAS Regulation for cross border healthcare. Member States should unify the specific parameters that need to be shared.
- Third, raise awareness of how ID can help HCPs comply with GDPR requirements.
- Fourth, to be open to innovation and emerging technologies for identification, be it via smartphone or biometrics, allowing verification by an approach that is most appropriate to the circumstances.
COCIR Secretary General, Nicole Denjoy, said “There will be many hurdles in the shift to genuine integrated care; adopting state-of-the-art identity management in healthcare is one of those challenges. However, these are not insurmountable; many of the technological solutions that we need already exist. We urge all Member States to step up their efforts to embrace and adopt these technologies and seize the benefits of secure electronic identity management. We also wish to see Member States cooperate to ensure these advantages can cover the whole of Europe as a matter of priority.”
Trusted identities both protect the security and privacy of the individual while playing a crucial enabling role in reducing costs, driving integration, and accelerating the uptake of new technologies. The value of a unique, trusted legal identity should not be underestimated in ensuring security from initial registration to issue and use.
The ‘Identity in Healthcare’ publication can be downloaded here.