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The Healthcare ID

October 10, 2011

In response to HSPD-12, the FIPS 201 (Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 201) was released to standardize the credential that is required for all government employees.  The question is, will guidelines similar to FIPS 201 be required in the healthcare industry?

Bill H.R. 451: Healthcare Truth and Transparency Act of 2011 was introduced into congress on January 26, 2011.  This bill prohibits any individual from misleading or deceptive acts regarding their education, training, degree, license, or clinical expertise.

Prior to issuance of any employee ID badge, that employee should first be vetted to verify their identity.  In addition, it should be verified that they do indeed retain the appropriate license for the job function they will perform, where applicable.  Going a step further, once an employee has their badge, verification should be performed every time that employee reports for duty, to prevent misuse.

In response to the bill introduction, individual states such as Pennsylvania and Colorado have already passed legislation to increase transparency within the healthcare industry.  The legislation contains guidelines stipulating that all healthcare professionals who deliver direct care to consumers must wear an ID badge that contains a recent photo, employee’s name, employee’s title and the name of the employment agency.  Some even stipulate that the expiration date of the license be clearly visible.

Larger medical facilities such as hospitals, medical centers, etc. already have some type of ID card in place that follows this format, at least closely, and may require only minor modifications to become compliant.  However, the passed legislation requires this type of identification for any professional that deals directly with their customers, so it now includes your family doctor.  Those who do not comply may incur fines.

Do you see these standards or something similar being implemented in your organization?  Share your experiences by leaving a comment using the link above or simply email us.

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