Essential Matters in Health Information Systems

Health information systems have deep implications at the level of security and ethics. Therefore, the article will approach the critical issues of privacy, security and health ethics.

The application of e-health technologies has to observe the concerns of data security and confidentiality of health of information. Since e-health technologies are available to a large number of users across great geographical areas, security access has become a major concern. In order to prevent any security cbdfreakcouk, the informational system has to be endowed with appropriate firewall protection, data encryption and password access. Nevertheless, computing viruses become more and more intricate and sophisticated as the security technology develops.

Security challenges have threatened the healthcare industry for the last few years. The technologies to which health informatics resorts to present both the advantage of being improved and the disadvantage that illegitimate access to the information can be performed. In order to simplify and protect administration of healthcare billing, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was issued in 1996, establishing a series of medical and privacy rules and procedures to be applied by all healthcare providers. Covering healthcare providers, health plans and healthcare clearinghouses that communicate patient information in electronic format, HIPAA intends to ensure individuals’ protected health information. Many technical protocols and methods have been put forward as a solution to security problems. Among them, one can mention the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol and Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) as the most widely known and used.

Mutual confidence between various participants in the healthcare domain has been built through the legislative component, since laws to protect personal medical information was proposed and put into effect.

Another source of potential concern in healthcare systems derives from the one mentioned above and regards the issue of ethics and “fair-play”. It is this aspect which is invested with great importance because ethics represents an essential ingredient for intensive and efficient e-health development. It provides the assurance for citizens and e-healthcare professionals that they won’t fall victims to fraud, medical misinformation, abuse of consumer data, marketing of products and services of little or questionable value, or unsatisfactory e-care services. To superintend the development and expansion of e-health, policies and mechanisms have to be created so that fraud and unethical practices are sanctioned, prevented and discouraged and patient privacy and confidentiality of e-data are preserved.