MEDITECH Contributes to Canada's Privacy and Security Framework

TECHNATION Health's Privacy and Security Framework Whitepaper highlights the top five issues for Canadian government and business leaders who are responsible for protecting sensitive health data and health infrastructure.


TECHNATION Health, part of Canada’s national association for information and communication technologies (ICT), recently released the first version of its Privacy and Security Framework Whitepaper, highlighting the top five issues for government and business leaders responsible for protecting sensitive health data and health infrastructure.

The whitepaper is a result of collaboration among the TECHNATION Health Advocacy Committee and its Board, as well as privacy and security officers from member companies. MEDITECH’s Justin Armstrong, CISSP and security architect, and Philip Alcaidinho, project manager, international healthcare policy initiatives, are active members of the Health Advocacy Committee.

The paper discusses the need to develop policies and standards around privacy and security management issues associated with:

  • Cybersecurity - including best practices and certifications
  • Data sovereignty - the geopolitical restrictions on the access, storage, and/or use of data
  • De-identification of health data -  the process of removing personal information from a record or data set
  • Secondary use of health data for R&D and innovation - establishing business models for using health data for innovative purposes
  • Alignment with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) -  rules for the protection of personal data inside and outside the EU; GDPR also defines new responsibilities for data controllers and processors.

“It’s a pleasure working with the TECHNATION Health Advocacy Committee to address these important health privacy and security challenges,” said Alcaidinho. "We look forward to contributing to the refinement of the Framework in the next phase and engaging further with provincial leaders to help promote these necessary changes."

The Framework also acknowledges global disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, stating the need for “unprecedented levels of innovation, as governments and public health authorities around the world seek solutions to problems that have never existed at this scale.”

Armstrong agreed: "Health Information Technology has never had a more vital role to play than during this pandemic. At the same time, cyber criminals and nation states continue to pose a serious threat. We will only be able to address these problems through the close collaboration of governments, law enforcement, healthcare organizations, and vendors. It’s a privilege to be involved with TECHNATION's cybersecurity efforts."

The whitepaper’s release marks the beginning of further engagement with Canadian healthcare stakeholders across British Columbia, Alberta, Nunavut, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, to build a broader consensus on the recommendations for what will eventually be a national scope for the Framework.

The next phase of the Framework is scheduled to be released in late Fall 2020. In the meantime, you can learn more about the challenges of maintaining security best practices, by watching Justin Armstrong’s on-demand webinar: An Insider Look at Cybersecurity.

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