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The 300-plus members of the Vaccination Credential Initiative announced earlier this month that the verifiable, interoperable vaccination record technology they’ve been working on since January should be generally available in May.

WHY IT MATTERS
“Effective vaccination credentials – don’t call them vaccine passports – depend on an equitable and privacy-preserving approach to verifiable data sharing – allowing vaccinated individuals to demonstrate proof (in digital or paper form) for safe return to school, work, travel and public events .

The Vaccination Credential Initiative has steadily added technology and health organizations over the past four months, each working to innovate and expand simple digital access to vaccination records.

Among just a few of the growing list of VCI members: Allscripts, Beth Israel Lahey Health, CARIN Alliance, Cerner, Change Healthcare, CPSI, Epic, HIMSS (parent company of Healthcare IT News), HL7, IBM, Imprivata Mayo Clinic, Meditech, Microsoft, MITRE, NextGen, Oracle, the Sequoia Project and Zocdoc.

Central to the project’s goal is that the interoperable SMART Health Cards specification, based on W3C Verifiable Credential and HL7 FHIR criteria .

In April, VCI plans to publish two implementation guides applications developers to integrate SMART Health Cards specification into their programs and systems.

Both are now available for review online in draft form:

The group expects production and general access to the VCI specification to kick off next month. The goal is for it to proliferate across the many and myriad applications and IT systems across the healthcare ecosystem.

That ‘s no small feat , with “a federated system of more than 20,000 vaccination administration websites , ” since the team points out.

VCI announced earlier this month, by way of instance , a test implementation developed by Cerner and should be available to eligible hospital and health system clients this summer; the firm   said present immunization records will undoubtedly be accessible as confirmed credentials after this year.

THE LARGER TREND
Since it launched last January with the objective of devising “trustworthy, traceable, verifiable, and universally recognized digital record of vaccination status,” VCI’s work has continued apace.

Its diverse coalition of private and public organizations has grown significantly, with more than 300 health care and technology groups now working together, pro Bono, on development and testing for issuance, sharing and validation of vaccine credentials.

The initiative also recently posted a charter which describes shared obligations among project participants. They promise to design tools that are transparent, accessible and inclusive , for all, and vow to protect privacy of users ‘ health information .

ON THE RECORD
“HL7 is dedicated to supporting global vaccination certification, ” said HL7 CEO Dr. Charles Jaffe in a statement. “The Vaccination Credential Initiative is a vital step in providing patients and caregivers with a dependable and secure way of achieving that goal . “

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer : mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS novel .

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