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Gauteng Expands Health Smart Card Pilot Program

The Pilot phase of a health smart card program in Gauteng, South Africa is being expanded after early tests went off without a hitch. With the smart card program, patients are issued special health cards that store their medical records on an embedded smart chip.

This process serves a number of benefits: Records are more accurate because they're entered electronically rather than being transcribed from paper forms. The cards also help to speed up check-in times because each patient's records are already stored and up-to-date, both on their cards and in the hospital's system. Another benefit of issuing patient smart cards is reduced waste. Typically, endless piles of paperwork go hand in hand with hospital operations, but smart cards are helping to change all of that. Additionally, the cards help to streamline the process of transferring patient info from hospital to hospital, doctor to doctor, and to pharmacies.

The Gauteng Health Department is working to spread the patient smart card program to hospitals throughout the province.