Feeds

How safe is your medical record?

Decide for yourselves, says UK.gov IT supremo

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Richard Granger, director general of the National Programme for IT, has sought to allay security fears citizens may have about the computerisation of many familiar NHS services.

Speaking at the Government Computing conference in London, Granger said that the NHS is on the cusp of introducing electronic referrals, and electronic care records will be going live soon.

Ideally, these changes will mean all data on a patient will be held centrally, with abstracts held locally. It will also mean referrals to external consultants will be accessible to patients themselves, who will be able to go online and change appointments if they don't suit them, for example.

What this will also mean, however, is a single point of access to patient data, making it much more vulnerable to unofficial access. It is this worry that Granger wants to address. Unfortunately, he seemed reluctant to provide delegates with details about how the information would be secured.

He instead went on the attack, saying that people who have concerns about the security of their records should consider how the system works at the moment, and then decide if the new system is better.

"The system is NOT secure at the moment," he said. "There is lots of private personal information flowing around by phone, by post, by fax, and even by post-it note. Electronic records will be more secure, and more accurate."

This may be so, but one could argue that replacing one insecure system with another, expensive, insecure system, is not the kind of progress the NHS needs. Granger's argument may seem to address the issue, but in fact it merely sidesteps it.

Anyone who has an interest can get further information here. ®

Related stories

Doctors divided over £2.3bn NHS IT project
NHS patient privacy? What patient privacy!
NHS wants another £2bn for IT mega project

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.