Privacy, Security, and Confidentiality of EHRs

Use of electronic health records (EHRs) can improve quality of care, reduce costs, enhance patient mobility, improve reliability, and enable evidence-based medicine. However, to realize these benefits, privacy, security, and confidentiality of EHRs must be ensured.

Confidentiality of Health Records-min.jpgCHAPEL HILL, NC—The transition from paper-based to electronic health record (EHR) systems in low- and middle-income countries poses some unique challenges for privacy and confidentiality, security, and data integrity and availability.

All of these challenges become more pressing with the rapid uptake of Internet services to share and access health information. Threats to the integrity of health information systems and the data they contain are real. Cyber security is required to prevent, detect, and act on unauthorized access to a health system and its information. Therefore, ensuring privacy, security, confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected health information in EHRs is absolutely necessary.

In MEASURE Evaluation’s new resource, A Primer on the Privacy, Security, and Confidentiality of Electronic Health Records, authors Manish Kumar and Sam Wambugu address these challenges.

With the growing need for healthcare providers to share and access health information across diverse and dispersed information systems and organizational boundaries, the interoperability of information systems has assumed greater significance for improved quality of care, efficiency, and patient safety.

A Science Speaks blog post details work by MEASURE Evaluation and Wambugu to plan and support the implementation of electronic medical records in Swaziland, including creating guidelines and protocols to protect patient privacy and confidentiality when medical records go digital.

More Resources

Privacy and Security for mHealth Projects in South Africa

Overview of Security Considerations for eHealth

Defining Electronic Health Technologies and Their Benefits for Global Health Program Managers: Data Science and Big Data

Guidelines for Data Management Standards in Routine Health Information Systems

Interoperability Considerations in the Design, Development, and Implementation of mHealth Projects