University of Cambridge > > Computer Laboratory Opera Group Seminars > The Elephant in the Room: Health Information System Security and the User-Level Environment

The Elephant in the Room: Health Information System Security and the User-Level Environment

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Pedro Brandao.

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The patient care context comprises outdated infrastructure, pervasive computer use, shared clinical workspace, aural privacy shortcomings, interruptive work settings, confusing legislation, poor privacy and security (P&S) eHealth training outcomes and inadequate budgets. Twenty three medical, nursing and allied health clinicians working in Australia (Victoria) participated in qualitative research examining work practices with P&S for patient care. They criticised a slow, inefficient eHealth information system (eHIS) environment permeated by usability errors. EHealth systems expanded workloads and system demands were onerous, increasing the clinicians’ scepticism of reliance on information technology. Consequently many clinicians had developed trade-offs to avoid reliance an eHIS. The trade-offs include IT support avoidance and shared passwords to PKI and computer accounts. Handover-sheets populated by transcribed notes were circulated between all clinicians present. The practices ensure paper persistence and escalate P&S threats to data confidentiality, integrity and availability. Study evidence suggests poor eHISs hamper patient care and may represent a larger P&S threat than indicated by studies to date


I’m interested in all aspects of health information system security. My research concerns clinical health informatics, bioinformatic data exchange standards and information security. I’ve developed a particular emphasis on e-health tools and their contribution to workflow methodologies in the health sector.

A member of the Mobile Health Research Group (MHRG), I work very closely with colleagues at Information Technology.

Useful sources of information on health information security and privacy are widely scattered. The web page published by the Australian Privacy Foundation (APF) is a notable exception. I chair the Health Sub Committee and love the work I do with them.

My professional memberships include the Australian College of Health Informatics (ACHI) , the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) and the Australian Health Informatics Education Council (AHIEC).

I am the Academic Convenor, the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Medical Science, Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences at Monash University. Academic oversight of students enrolled for a BMedSc(Hons)degree is challenging but fun and I’m fascinated by the research programs on which they work.

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This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Opera Group Seminars series.

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