An architecture for enhanced assurance in e-health systems

Liu, Yin-Miao (Vicky) (2011) An architecture for enhanced assurance in e-health systems. PhD by Publication, Queensland University of Technology.


Notwithstanding the obvious potential advantages of information and communications technology (ICT) in the enhanced provision of healthcare services, there are some concerns associated with integration of and access to electronic health records. A security violation in health records, such as an unauthorised disclosure or unauthorised alteration of an individual's health information, can significantly undermine both healthcare providers' and consumers' confidence and trust in e-health systems. A crisis in confidence in any national level e-health system could seriously degrade the realisation of the system's potential benefits. In response to the privacy and security requirements for the protection of health information, this research project investigated national and international e-health development activities to identify the necessary requirements for the creation of a trusted health information system architecture consistent with legislative and regulatory requirements and relevant health informatics standards. The research examined the appropriateness and sustainability of the current approaches for the protection of health information. It then proposed an architecture to facilitate the viable and sustainable enforcement of privacy and security in health information systems under the project title "Open and Trusted Health Information Systems (OTHIS)". OTHIS addresses necessary security controls to protect sensitive health information when such data is at rest, during processing and in transit with three separate and achievable security function-based concepts and modules: a) Health Informatics Application Security (HIAS); b) Health Informatics Access Control (HIAC); and c) Health Informatics Network Security (HINS). The outcome of this research is a roadmap for a viable and sustainable architecture for providing robust protection and security of health information including elucidations of three achievable security control subsystem requirements within the proposed architecture. The successful completion of two proof-of-concept prototypes demonstrated the comprehensibility, feasibility and practicality of the HIAC and HIAS models for the development and assessment of trusted health systems. Meanwhile, the OTHIS architecture has provided guidance for technical and security design appropriate to the development and implementation of trusted health information systems whilst simultaneously offering guidance for ongoing research projects. The socio-economic implications of this research can be summarised in the fact that this research embraces the need for low cost security strategies against economic realities by using open-source technologies for overall test implementation. This allows the proposed architecture to be publicly accessible, providing a platform for interoperability to meet real-world application security demands. On the whole, the OTHIS architecture sets a high level of security standard for the establishment and maintenance of both current and future health information systems. This thereby increases healthcare providers‘ and consumers‘ trust in the adoption of electronic health records to realise the associated benefits.

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ID Code: 47051
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD by Publication)
Supervisor: Caelli, William & Smith, Jason
Keywords: security architecture of health information systems, security for health systems, security in health informatics
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Institutes > Information Security Institute
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 17 Nov 2011 00:19
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2011 02:03

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