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SMART Association, Inc. Launches Its Health Information Exchange Software
Date:4/15/2009

CITRUS HEIGHTS, Calif., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to President Obama's mandate for electronic health records (EHR) for all patients, SMART Association, Inc. and LifeMed Card, Inc. ("SMART") announce they have released their LifeMed(TM) Smart Card Platform software for EHRs. The software allows EHRs, Health Information Exchanges ("HIEs"), hospital legacy systems, or physicians' record management systems to seamlessly connect to patient data. The LifeMed(TM) software now transports the relevant information onto a secure patient smart card, thus completing the journey from HIE to the provider network, allowing for a strong authorization of true identity for a Continuity of Care amongst all providers.

Chief Executive Officer David Batchelor of SMART (www.lifemedID.com) characterizes this time as a "pivotal point for electronic medical record usefulness. There are a number of companies, such as Microsoft and Google seeking to develop their own proprietary EHR; SMART's focus is on connecting various data points to create an accurate medical picture that is immediately accessible to any healthcare provider and first responders. Smart cards provide accurate identification of each person, while transporting physician and clinical information immediately. SMART's goal is to support the underlying foundation of the president's healthcare initiatives: creating a connected, patient-centric model where all providers can contribute and access patient information for the benefit of the patient -- while reducing medial fraud, patient record error, and streamlining patient registration."

Currently, healthcare information management focuses on exchanging patients' electronic medical records over the Internet to various HIEs and Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs). From there, networks are supposed to connect and aggregate information into a National Health Information Network (NHIN). Therefore, correctly identifying patients while protecting their privacy is a daunting task. Part of that infrastructure must be patient "identity management." An identity and authentication solution based on smart card technology provides the best foundation for improving healthcare information systems in a secure, privacy-sensitive way.

The Smart Card Alliance, a 180-member not-for-profit educational organization made up of healthcare providers, government users and technology providers, confirmed that smart cards are an important first step for EHRs and HIEs to gain an accurate identification for each patient encounter. Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance (www.smartcardalliance.org), states, "Secure identity smart cards should be top of mind for any government policy makers looking to improve the efficiency of healthcare information."

The Alliance makes the case for this idea in a recently issued brief, "Effective Healthcare Identity Management: A Necessary First Step for Improving U.S. Healthcare Information Systems." It explains why accurately linking patients with their personal medical information, while at the same time protecting their privacy, is the key to reducing costly medical errors caused by redundant information entry, language barriers, common names, misspellings or phonetic spellings, etc.

"With the $17 billion federal government investment planned for healthcare IT as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009, it is an ideal time to recognize the importance of healthcare identity management," added Vanderhoof.

The LifeMed(TM) Smart Card platform has been successfully implemented in hospitals from Texas to New Hampshire. SMART will begin collaborating pilots of the new EHR and HIE modules this summer.

About SMART

SMART Association, Inc. and LifeMed Card Inc. have been the leading Consumer Relationship marketing firm and smart card application providers and card issuers within the healthcare industry for over eighteen (18) years. Hospitals partner with SMART to develop market-leading strategies to closely align their patients, increasing market share, while generating significant, quantifiable ROIs. Please visit the company's website at www.smartassociation.com.

    Contact:
    Dale Grogan
    SMART Association, Inc.
    916-677-8400, ext. 311
    daleg@smartassociation.com


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SOURCE SMART Association, Inc.
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