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Technology Tools for Securing Health Information

  As our society becomes more and more dependent on information systems, so too will the need to protect this information. Many existing and emerging technologies are available to protect information, but the proliferation of technologies can make it difficult to sort out what will best serve the needs of an organization. From what I have observed, the health care community is not particularly sophisticated in evaluating information technologies. Moreover, the vendors tend to be offering ``closed'' systems that violate my basic assumptions about future architectures.

The protection of computerized medical information will require attention be paid to several areas, including access control, user authentication, remote system authentication, data authentication, data encryption, data replication (backups), audit trails, and timestamp information. In this rather long section I will attempt to describe how some of these technologies will play a role in the future.

Kevin S. McCurley
Sat Mar 11 16:00:15 MST 1995