We were surprised to learn yesterday, while skimming amNew York in the subway, about the new Smart Card initiative at Mount Sinai Hospital. After all, some of us work there, and we try to bring the scoops on health technology news. Alas, we’ve never even met Maria Anna Lugo. This report from InformationWeek has more on the Smart Card plan:
Mount Sinai Medical Center, along with eight affiliated hospitals, next spring plans to begin deploying more than 100,000 smart cards to its patients. In total, there will be more than 45 related and affiliated health facilities in the region involved with the smart card initiative.
The project, which will be rolled out in phases and might eventually provide the facilities’ 500,000 patients with smart cards, could also serve as a model for a regional health information network effort in New York City overall, which has a population of about 8 million, says Mount Sinai VP of IT Paul Contino.
“New York is as densely populated as you get, so this is a significant rollout,” says a spokesman for Siemens Communications Inc., the smart card technology vendor for the project.
The cards, which will also feature a photo of the patient, are embedded with a “secure microchip” that will contain demographic information-like patient name and address-and also medical history, drug prescription and allergy, recent lab results, and other key data, says Contino. The information can be updated whenever a patient receives new health services or has a change in health status. The cards, which are read by devices that can attach to PCs, require that patients enter a PIN before the chip’s data can be accessed. If cards are lost or stolen, information cannot be accessed without the PIN, Contino says.
In addition to Mount Sinai Medical Center, the other affiliated hospitals participating in the new project are Mount Sinai Hospital of Queens, Cabrini Medical Center, Elmhurst Hospital, Englewood Hospital, North General Hospital, Queens Hospital, St. John’s Riverside Hospital, and Settlement Health.
“No other rollouts have reached 100,000 cards yet in health care,” says Randy Vanderhoof, executive director industry organization, Smart Card Alliance. “This will be the largest smart health card rollout in the country,” he says.
Another source says the cards could cost $7, which should pay for the development costs. Of course, we think that you can’t put a dollar value on the time interns will save from transcribing lengthy patient medical histories…
More from Mount Sinai… including card capacity (64 kb!), EKG images, and the potential for ER docs to bypass the patient’s PIN in case of emergency…