IBM wins security deal for e-health system

Tuesday, 01 March, 2011

E-health records just became a little closer to reality with IBM  being awarded a $23.6m contract with the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) to design and build Australia’s National Authentication Service for Health (NASH) project.

The NASH will provide the first nationwide secure and authenticated service for healthcare organisations and personnel to exchange e-health information. The project will act as a cornerstone in transforming Australia’s health system including the establishment of a Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR), and will help drive the smarter use of data, information and communications in healthcare delivery.

Under the agreement, IBM will utilise its combined hardware, software and services capabilities to manage the project delivery of the NASH system for Australia’s healthcare providers. This includes industry and technology consulting expertise, security and access management technologies, and IT infrastructure management services.

In order to facilitate the rapid adoption of NASH by the healthcare software community, NEHTA is providing a software development kit (SDK) that will allow existing healthcare systems and deployments to quickly and seamlessly integrate with NASH. This SDK will also ensure that transactions are properly authenticated and audited in accordance with Australian standards.

Together with clinical terminology, messaging standards and unique healthcare identifiers, the NASH will provide one of the fundamental building blocks for a national e-health system, as well as providing security credentials for use at the organisational and local level.

“Our agreement with IBM enables NEHTA to build a system that will give healthcare professionals timely and secure access to appropriate patient information,” said Peter Fleming, Chief Executive Officer, NEHTA. “In turn, the NASH program will take us one step closer to broader healthcare access for all Australians.”

Andrew Stevens, Managing Director for IBM Australia and New Zealand, said the agreement represented a vital step in promoting the broader take-up of e-health, enabling a more patient-centric healthcare system and improved health outcomes for Australians.

“This program will benefit over 600,000 Australian doctors, nurses and allied health providers and accelerate the delivery of smarter healthcare across the entire healthcare system,” said Stevens.

This includes integrating data so that doctors and patients can share information securely, seamlessly and efficiently. IBM also helps clients apply advanced analytics to improve medical research, diagnosis and treatment to improve patient care and reduce healthcare costs.

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