Case Study: Making It Easy and Secure for Consumers to Access and Share Their Healthcare Data


As the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear, it is critical for patients to be able to access and share their healthcare data easily and securely. For this to occur, a comprehensive healthcare data record must be accessible to patients where and when they need it. This way, wherever patients are in the world—whether the doctor’s office, their office, the airport, or concert hall—they’ll be able to have their records at their fingertips. To make this happen, Change Healthcare built a global digital solution, Vaccination Record.  

With Vaccination Record, patients can easily and securely share their vaccination information with whomever they choose, under their control.

The Customer Need

Consumers need to be able to access their medical information safely and securely, including their vaccination records, on any device they choose. They need to be able to share their data securely and under their control with a trusted source. Meanwhile, verifiers like airlines, venues, and workplaces need reassurance that the records patients provide are valid. 

The Challenge

The existing processes for accessing and sharing health information do not support easy access or sharing. For one thing, data is fragmented across sources, making access inconvenient at best. In the absence of an interoperable system, consumers are forced to use paper records. Second, because consumers are forced to use paper, they can’t easily or securely share their healthcare data with entities they trust while maintaining control of that data. Third, paper records are easily corrupted or damaged and not verifiable as valid, a need that was amplified by COVID-19 but existed long before in the areas of patient care and public health.

The Solution

Everyone needs secure access to their healthcare records. To address this need, Change Healthcare developed a digital solution to make it easier for all consumers to access and share their data. Embracing the need for interoperable access, the solution uses globally accepted standards for healthcare data including Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). Recognizing the need for common and trustworthy verifiability, the solution leverages open standards set by the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI). VCI™ is a voluntary coalition of public and private organizations committed to making sure individuals can access a trustworthy and verifiable copy of their vaccination, and other healthcare, records.


With health equity a key goal, the Change Healthcare solution was developed for all consumers to access their information—not only consumers with smartphones. For this reason, Vaccination Record is accessible from multiple devices, including flip phones, smartphones, and computers. Similarly, not all healthcare providers and locations have the sophisticated technology infrastructure to provide digital healthcare records. For this reason, Vaccination Record provides a very simple, standards-based interface that allows all healthcare providers to share and create verifiable digital healthcare records. 


Standardization is essential to break down the data silos inherent in the healthcare ecosystem. Using standards like FHIR and standardized implementations for data sharing created by the HL7® Da Vinci Project, Vaccination Record provides a simple FHIR API to gather data from multiple sources, including pharmacies, healthcare providers, testing labs, and government agencies.


Friction-free access is essential for consumers to share their health information. Knowing that consumers need to share their healthcare data in different situations and locations, Vaccination Record provides multiple ways of sharing healthcare data. For fast, “casual” sharing, consumers can access and save or print their record directly from their device. This enables all pharmacies, healthcare providers, testing labs, and government agencies to easily create and distribute verifiable digital healthcare records to their patients with a minimum of effort.

However, consumers may also want to access this information from within other systems like digital wallets or share it with their employer’s HR system. Vaccination Record provides a simple FHIR API that allows digital health companies and digital wallets to display digital vaccination credentials in their apps and consumers to share this information electronically with online verifiers, such as airlines and ticket providers. 


Unfortunately, fraud related to healthcare data is rampant—just think about forged vaccination cards during the pandemic. Verifiability is critical since it proves that medical records are accurate. Using the SMART® Health Cards standard, digital healthcare records are presented in a common and verifiable format, allowing consumers to share—and verifiers to validate—healthcare records using a nationally defined standard-and-verification method.  


Stewarding healthcare data is a critical responsibility. Since Vaccination Record places the ability to retrieve and share healthcare data entirely in patients’ control, consumers can ensure their data’s privacy. The use of technologies from Amazon Web Services (AWS) creates a technology infrastructure for Vaccination Record that is both secure and scalable.

Looking ahead

Post COVID-19, we need to think about vaccination records and other health information more broadly. After all, this data is critical—for kids in school, workers, travelers, patients with chronic diseases, and more. We should prioritize making it easy to access and share.

Vaccination Record from Change Healthcare makes it easy and secure for consumers to access and share their vaccination records.  

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