My Health Record and Emerging Cybersecurity Challenges in the Australian Digital Environment

My Health Record and Emerging Cybersecurity Challenges in the Australian Digital Environment

Anita Medhekar (Central Queensland University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6975-7.ch005
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Abstract

The main aim of embracing evolutionary digital e-health technologies such as ‘My Health Records' is to transform and empower the patients to control their health records, access, choose the right healthcare provider and suitable treatment, when required. It has been a challenge for the healthcare practitioners, hospital staff, as well as patients to accept, embrace, and adopt transformative digital e-health technologies and manage their healthcare records amidst concerns of slow adoption by the patient due to data privacy and cybersecurity issues. Australia, since COVID-19, has stressed the importance of secure online connectivity for the government, business, and the consumers. It is essential that My Health Record platform is cyber-safe, and user-friendly so that consumers feel conformable, safe and secure regarding their personal health records. This chapter discussed the challenges of embracing e-health digital technologies and assurance of advancing cybersecurity of online My Health Record, which will transform e-health provision and empower patients and healthcare providers.
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Introduction

In the 21st century, developed countries such as Australia, has adopted digital transformation of healthcare records or e-health revolution for advancing cybersecurity, by implementing My Health Records to empower patients, and improve healthcare practice for clinicians and medical professionals, and provide positive experience to consumers at large. It has been a challenge for the healthcare practitioners, hospital staff as well as patients to accept, embrace, advance, and adopt digital e-health technologies and manage their healthcare records amidst concerns of slow adoption by the patient due to data privacy, security, security of technical devices, user authentication, and Cybersecurity issues (Chandrakar, 2021; Coventry & Branley, 2018; Office of Australian Information Commissioner, 2021a; OAIC, 2021b; Pandey & Litoriya, 2020; Tanwar, Tyagi, & Kumar 2019). The main aim of advancing and embracing innovative digital e-health technologies such as health informatics and ‘My health Records’ is to transform and empower the patients to control their health records, choose the right healthcare provider and suitable treatment, without compromising the safety, privacy and security of private health data. Further, adoption of e-health records, helps in digitizing, maintaining and storing e-health records, and introduces ease of communication between the various healthcare departments through electronic data interchange for sharing information between the patient and the healthcare providers (Baldwin et al., 2017; Bhuyan et al., 2020; Kim & Johnston, 2002; Medhekar & Nguyen, 2020; Queensland Health, 2017; Sittig, 2002).

Given that the e-health revolution is driven by innovators of healthcare technologies, entrepreneurs, medical professionals, healthcare providers and government policy makers to bring about a transformative change in healthcare ecosystems. It is essential that e-health innovation such as My health Record platform is cyber-safe and user-friendly so that consumers as patients feel comfortable, safe, and secure regarding protection of their personal health-care records and diagnostic reports by the hospitals cloud system (Tanwar et al., 2019). Assurance of cybersecurity related to My Health Record’ will help to change the patient experience and empower them to embrace e-health digital technologies and empower the patients to manage their own health records with positive healthcare experience and digitally transform health care delivery (Bhuyan et al., 2016; Coventry & Branley, 2018; Medhekar & Nguyen, 2020; Medhekar, 2021). On the 26th of November 2018, the Australian parliament passed the My Health Records amendment bill to protect the privacy of the people using the digital e-health system to meet the multi-layered privacy and cybersecurity standards and to protect the electronic health records system from malicious attacks from online hackers and cyber-criminals (Australian Digital Health Agency {ADHA}, 2019; Aunger, 2020). Since COVID-19 pandemic on one hand governments, business and consumers are increasingly depending on online delivery of business, goods and services; on the other hand cyber criminals are busy attacking the internet cloud information systems from all over the world, stealing money, identities, and sensitive finance, government, business, defense data, research facilities and healthcare data for ransom or stealing patient privacy (Bhuyan et al., 2020; Department of Home Affairs, 2020; Sharma & Purohit, 2018; William, Chaturvedi, & Chakravarthy, 2020).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Confidentiality: Personal health records of the patients, must be protected from being misused by those who are not concerned with it. The information of the patient must be released only with patient’s formal consent and authorized medical persons have access to the information for clinical treatment or research purposes.

Healthcare Data Integrity: Data integrity related to accuracy of healthcare data. Due to electronic data interchange and exchange of information between the diagnostic clinics and general practitioners, clinicians or relevant medical professionals between healthcare organisations, data can be changed or tampered with as it moves between healthcare organisations, resulting in poor documentation integrity and errors in medical records.

Digital Transformation: Digital transformation is the process of using internet based digital technologies to create, improve and transform existing business processes that is re-engineering and innovating digital health technology applications continuously. This will not only manage risk from cyber-threat but also improve consumer use experience and value by the patients and the healthcare providers, to meet changing healthcare needs of the consumers, hospitals and healthcare organisations efficiency.

Digital Health Technology: Digital health technology also known as e-health technology is convergence of digital technologies and internet with healthcare records and reports, mobile-phones, apps, tablets and computer vis the internet to improve people’s health and maximise impact. Digital health helps to enhance efficiency in healthcare service delivery for effective and positive healthcare outcomes, providing personalized and precise healthcare plan.

My Health Record: My Health Record is a personal health record and summary of individuals key health information in an electronic or digital format on a patient portal. Patients can maintain, manage and provide access to their personal health information to healthcare providers such as their doctor or hospital regarding medication, allergies and diagnostic tests results. This e-health information is private, and protected, in a secure confidential online digital environment.

Cybersecurity Risk: Measures taken by an organsiation such as banks, hospitals, universities, schools, businesses, governments, and individuals to protect their own computer or computer systems in an organsiation as a whole from internet hackers, malwares or cyber-attacks.

Blockchain Technology: Blockchain technology is defined as an effective technology of chain of transactions or datasets, chained together by a cryptographic signature, stored in a shared ledger and supported by a network of connected nodes or processes, which are continuously updated, and data synced. Blockchain technology can help to prevent data breaches in the healthcare industry, as it is a secure method of recording, storing, sharing, and updating sensitive data of the patients.

Information Security: Information security can be defined as preserving and protecting patient’s data in terms of confidentiality, integrity, and availability of patients’ personal health information data by the hospital, healthcare providers, healthcare professionals such as doctors, clinicians, physicians, nurses and allied healthcare staff. The back-up of electronic data is essential in case of cyber-attack.

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