06:34 PM

Verizon Offers Free Security Credentials To Healthcare Professionals

The credentials meet Level 3 authentication requirements and allow healthcare providers to receive digitized health data from other clinicians securely.

Health IT Boosts Patient Care, Safety
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Slideshow: Health IT Boosts Patient Care, Safety

Verizon Business is offering 2.3 million licensed healthcare professionals in the U.S. free medical identity credentials to make it easier for clinicians to securely share patient information via Verizon’s own Medical Data Exchange and other e-health platforms.

The credentials can allow healthcare providers to securely receive digitized health data from other clinicians via private inboxes accessed from a new Verizon Medical Data Exchange physician web portal.

Verizon’s multi-factored identity credentials meet Level 3 authentication requirements of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, said Steven Archer, head of Verizon Business Innovation Incubator Group. The security offering allows healthcare providers to comply with provisions of the HITECH Act that require "strong identity" credentials for accessing and sharing patient data starting in mid-2011.

Multi-factored identity credentialing authenticates a user’s ID through several factors, such as user name, password and software token. The Verizon ID credentials available to U.S. healthcare professionals allows up to 15 different form factors to be leveraged, said Archer.

There is currently no universal means of issuing multi-factored identity credentials to U.S. healthcare professionals. Making these security credentials available free to licensed healthcare providers such as doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, will encourage the exchange of patient information, helping clinicians meet the HITECH Act’s meaningful use requirements, said Archer.

Verizon will begin issuing the ID credentials in January.

The multi-factored identity credentials also can be used as a single identity by healthcare professional to securely access other healthcare systems, databases and applications. “This provides a secure path enabling authentication capabilities on other platforms,” said Archer.

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