Next time you’re asked for vaccination verification or a recent COVID-19 test result at a restaurant, concert venue, sporting event or Broadway play, you’ll know where to look. If you’re a Hartford HealthCare patient, it’s now stored on your smartphone’s MyChartPlus app as a secure, scannable QR code that confirms your credentials.
Hartford HealthCare has joined several hundred technology and healthcare companies — among them Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Mayo Clinic, Salesforce and Epic — in the Vaccination Credential Initiative, a consortium that created a verifiable digital proof of vaccination called the SMART Health Card. Epic, whose software powers MyChartPlus, worked with Hartford HealthCare on this new verification technology available to close to 25 million people. Epic expects to expand the program to up to 80 million people by the end of the year and 100 million by 2022. It’s the same technology behind New York’s Excelsior Pass. California, Louisiana and Hawaii also use it.
How does it work? Let’s say you’re going to a wedding reception that requires proof of vaccination. Show your QR code. It’s then scanned and verified by a digital reader, such as the SMART Health Card Verifier app from The Commons Project, a VCI member. That’s it.
“As you get more boosters or additional boosters, it’s updated,” says Michael Schajer, Hartford HealthCare’s Chief Medical Information Officer, Ambulatory. “And your test results are updated every time you’re tested.”
Here’s how to get started:
- In the MyChartPlus app, go to Menu and scroll down to My Record.
- Select COVID-19.
- At the bottom of the page, select QR codes.
- You’ll see separate QRs code for your vaccination and test results.
Once scanned, the code only reveals your name, date of birth and vaccination or test information. No other information is shared. To prevent fakes, the QR code contains a digital signature that guarantees the card was issued from a verified location.
Related: Looking For A COVID Test?
You can also print out the QR code. If you’re uncomfortable in a public setting using the MyChartPlus app, which stores all your medical records, consider saving a copy of the QR code to another secure app, such as CommonHealth from The Commons Project. Because MyChartPlus does not allow screenshots for security reasons, you can access the code on a computer screen, then scan it into the CommonHealth app using your smartphone’s camera.
Do not carry the white COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card with you. Carry a copy with you, or add a photo to your smartphone. But the cards now have questionable validity because of the growing number of fakes.
“The white card doesn’t suffice as verifiable clinical information,” says Schajer.