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SanDisk demonstrates use of USB flash drives by medical providers for the Continuity of Care Record.

SanDisk Corporation (Nasdaq: SNDK) today announced its participation in a demonstration that shows the compatibility and interoperability of the Continuity of Care Record (CCR) on a SanDisk Cruzer Mini USB flash drive. The CCR standard is aimed at creating a transportable set of basic health information that contains the most relevant data about a patient's condition at a particular point in time. The demonstration was conducted at TEPR '04 (Towards an Electronic Patient Record), the 20th annual conference and exhibition of the Medical Records Institute.

"As the use of portable electronic patient records becomes more popular, we envision patients carrying their medical records as two files," said Ed Cuellar, director of marketing at SanDisk. "One file would be non-secure and would contain critical information that might be needed during an emergency, when the patient may be unconscious and unable to provide the password to his complete record. This non-secure data would consist of critical information such as name, insurance carrier, emergency contact, blood type, allergies and major medical conditions such as diabetes. The second file would be secure and might contain the patient's entire medical history, including imaging data such as radiology results, X-rays, and MRI and CAT scans," he added.

"Today, federal law requires physicians to provide a patient with his or her medical record, upon request," said Cuellar. "Having the record already in an electronic format and having a portable flash drive makes this process practical and easy." USB flash drives are small enough to carry on a key chain and have sufficient capacity to store considerable amounts of personal medical records. "SanDisk has gained substantial experience from our P-Tag program with the U.S. military in the past three years, and we believe that we can put that experience to good use in this portable medical records application," he said.

Similar in size to the metal "dog tags" worn by soldiers for decades, P-Tags are rugged, non-volatile flash memory-based storage devices that require no batteries and have no moving parts. They can carry a full medical history and can be accessed and updated by battlefield medics, thus providing transportable records of patient care.

The proposed CCR standard, which will be finalized within the next few months, is being developed with the ASTM E31 Committee on Healthcare Informatics, an arm of ASTM International. CCR sponsors include Massachusetts Medical Society, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Patient Safety Institute (PSI). Most recently, the American Medical Association (AMA), the nation's largest medical society, announced its support for the CCR.

The purpose of the CCR is to allow one physician to electronically send to another physician a minimum amount of information regarding a patient who is being referred. The CCR standard allows for the document to be saved as an XML file, which can be read by any computer. It can be sent electronically via email or it can be stored on a portable memory device such as a USB flash drive.
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Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 24, 2004
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