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

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.