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To help navigate the current and future thinking of OpenHIE Privacy and Security
Privacy and security are two related, but quite distinct, topics. In its 2016 document, Connecting Health and Care for the Nation – A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, the US department of Health and Human Services (HHS) states that:
Participation in and use of a learning health system will be highly dependent upon reliable mechanisms to ensure that (1) a secure network infrastructure is widely available; (2) privacy is protected; (3) health information and services are accessed only by participants whose identity has been verified and who have been authenticated to access the system they are seeking to access; (4) users have access only to data they are authorized to access, where authorization is determined by individuals’ choices, or, if no choices are recorded, what the statutes, regulations and consensus rules say a user may access, use, disclose and receive. All of these components are necessary for enabling broad scale interoperability and a learning health system.
In many low-resource settings the legislative and policy protections for personal health information (PHI) privacy and security are still in the process of being developed and enacted. Even so, it is an underlying principle of the OpenHIE initiative that privacy, security and confidentiality of PHI are important requirements and that, at a minimum, internationally accepted de facto baseline protections should be supported. It is expected that, as implementing jurisdictions' PHI policies mature, expanded protections may be operationalized in the OpenHIE infrastructure to augment the initial, basic capabilities.
To help implementers think about the multiple dimensions of security, OpenHIE has the following framework. Each quadrant represents a different aspect that needs to be considered when implementing OpenHIE.