Information Security Management in Picture Archiving and Communication Systems for the Healthcare Industry

Information Security Management in Picture Archiving and Communication Systems for the Healthcare Industry

Carrison K.S. Tong (Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital & Tseung Kwan O Hospital, Hong Kong) and Eric T.T. Wong (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-050-9.ch132
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Like other information systems in banking and commercial companies, information security is also an important issue in the healthcare industry. It is a common problem to have security incidences in an information system. Such security incidences include physical attacks, viruses, intrusions, and hacking. For instance, in the U.S.A., more than 10 million security incidences occurred in the year of 2003. The total loss was over $2 billion. In the healthcare industry, damages caused by security incidences could not be measured only by monetary cost. The trouble with inaccurate information in healthcare systems is that it is possible that someone might believe it and do something that might damage the patient. In a security event in which an unauthorized modification to the drug regime system at Arrowe Park Hospital proved to be a deliberate modification, the perpetrator received a jail sentence under the Computer Misuse Act of 1990. In another security event (The Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, 2003), six patients received severe overdoses of radiation while being treated for cancer on a computerized medical linear accelerator between June 1985 and January 1987. Owing to the misuse of untested software in the control, the patients received radiation doses of about 25,000 rads while the normal therapeutic dose is 200 rads. Some of the patients reported immediate symptoms of burning and electric shock. Two died shortly afterward and others suffered scarring and permanent disability. BS7799 is an information-security-management standard developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI) for an information-securitymanagement system (ISMS). The first part of BS7799, which is the code of practice for information security, was later adopted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as ISO17799. The second part of BS7799 states the specification for ISMS. The picture-archiving and -communication system (PACS; Huang, 2004) is a clinical information system tailored for the management of radiological and other medical images for patient care in hospitals and clinics. It was the first time in the world to implement both standards to a clinical information system for the improvement of data security.

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