MedicAlert Foundation International Provides New Guidelines to Empower Consumers

WASHINGTON, DC (September 13, 2011) – MedicAlert Foundation International, a worldwide network of nonprofit medical identification and emergency response service organizations, issued a Code of Conduct that provides a set of service standards that for the first time will enable consumers worldwide to evaluate competing medical ID and emergency response services.

“As medical ID services continue to evolve and grow around the world, a well-conceived consumer evaluation tool is needed more than ever to enable informed decision-making regarding the vast array of options available to the public,” said Andrew B. Wigglesworth, President and CEO of MedicAlert Foundation International, which includes nine Affiliates worldwide serving more than 50 countries. “In a very competitive sector operating with virtually no standards, consumers are at risk of not receiving quality services when needed most – during medical emergencies. The MedicAlert Code of Conduct addresses this need.”

Millions of people across the globe have medical conditions, allergies and other health complications that first responders and emergency medical personnel should be alerted to in order to provide optimal emergency treatment and to help ensure the best outcome possible. MedicAlert Foundation was established more than 50 years ago to serve as this vital information link between its members and emergency responders in times of need.

MedicAlert Foundation International Code of Conduct serves two critical purposes. First, the Code of Conduct spells out in detail the commitment that the MedicAlert global network makes to each of its members, present and future. Second, the Code of Conduct also sets a baseline by which consumers can evaluate and make informed decisions on key aspects of all the different types of emergency medical information and identification services and organizations.

As the inventor and pioneer of these services, MedicAlert Foundation International is exercising leadership once again to publish this Code as the first step toward the goal of establishing agreed upon global industry standards that put the public’s best interest first.

The Code of Conduct is presented as a five-point checklist that consumers can use to determine their individual needs and priorities and evaluate providers of emergency medical information and identification services. Choosing the best service provider to meet individual needs is increasingly complicated with so many options available in the marketplace. This five-point checklist emphasizes the areas listed below; guiding consumers with descriptions of the various alternatives and objective pros and cons to consider when selecting the product and service features best suited to personal needs. Complementing the checklist is a lengthy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document to help consumers in making educated decisions:

1. Safeguarding and protecting your personal health information

2. High standards for engraving medical ID products

3. Safe and effective medical ID jewelry and products

4. No-fail emergency response services

5. Better standards pf business

Copies of the Code of Conduct and related FAQ may be found at medicalert.org

About MedicAlert Foundation International

Established in 1956, MedicAlert Foundation pioneered the use of medical IDs and systems to relay vital medical information to emergency responders on behalf of its members so they receive faster and safer treatment. Today, MedicAlert Foundation International services more than four million members in more than 50 countries through its worldwide network of nonprofit affiliated organizations. MedicAlert Foundation International provides the functionality of an e-health information exchange through an innovative combination of a unique patient identifier linked to a PHR and a live 24/7 emergency response service. MedicAlert Foundation International medical IDs alert emergency personnel to a member’s primary health conditions, medications or implanted medical devices. In addition to its 24-hour emergency response service, MedicAlert Foundation International also provides family and caregiver notification so that members can be reunited with their loved ones. Learn more at: www.medicalert.org/codeofconduct.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011