Mundy, Darren and Chadwick, David W.
Security issues in the electronic transfer of prescriptions.
Medical Informatics and the Internet in Medicine,
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The UK government has stated within its plan of reform for the National Health Service that a secure system for the Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions will be available by 2004. The objectives of this paper are to highlight the significant barriers faced in securing an ETP system, to provide a critical analysis of the security mechanisms in the models currently being piloted and to suggest an alternative revised model which overcomes the identified deficiencies and security hurdles. To identify the significant security issues relevant to the adoption of ETP, the authors have combined their analysis of present prescription processing practice with their knowledge of computer security. The authors identify and describe how the issues of patient confidentiality, authorization, identity authentication, audit, scalability, availability and reliability are significant barriers to the adoption of ETP, particularly if they effect ease of use. The papers contribution to the field of ETP is to suggest solutions to each of the identified security issues and to combine the solutions together in a revised and developed model.
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