New policy addresses gaps in eHealth service provision
CLARITY - Open eGovernment Services
18Jul
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New policy addresses gaps in eHealth service provision

by ivonne   |   18 Jul, 2017

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Brand new data and cyber security policy from the Department of Health (UK) addresses gaps in eHealth service provision identified the by CLARITY consortium

Just days after the CLARITY consortium submitted their Gap Analyses, which highlights gaps within the current provision of open eGovernment services, the UK Department of Health has announced plans to increase spending on cyber and data security to more than £50m, and also for introducing digital systems that allow patients to track how their data is used, and by whom.  This report thus responds to the following gaps highlighted in CLARITY work so far:

  • Lack of citizen trust in how their data is handled by health and public authorities
  • Lack of confidence from public service staff when it comes to handling user data
  • Skill gap amongst public service staff when it comes to using ICT enabled services and implementing data protection principles

The report is called Your Data: Better Security, Better Choice, Better Care and is published in response to two separate reviews into its data security measures  conducted by the watchdog the National Data Guardian and the regulator Care Quality Commission

The report announces that one of its targets is to allow citizens to make better-informed choices about the use of their data. This includes an online service that will allow people to see who has accessed their summary care record, launched by the end of 2018. By March 2020, this will be expanded to allow patients to see how personal data collected by NHS Digital has ‘been used for purposes other than their direct care’.

The report also outlines 10 Security Standards from the National Data Guardian:

  • All staff ensure that personal confidential data is handled, stored and transmitted securely, whether in electronic or paper form. Personal confidential data is shared for only lawful and appropriate purposes
  • All staff understand their responsibilities under the National Data Guardian’s data-security standards, including their obligation to handle information responsibly and their personal accountability for deliberate or avoidable breaches.
  • All staff complete appropriate annual data security training and pass a mandatory test, provided through the redesigned Information Governance Toolkit.
  • Personal confidential data is only accessible to staff who need it for their current role and access is removed as soon as it is no longer required. All instances of access to personal confidential data on IT systems can be attributed to individuals.
  • •    Processes are reviewed at least annually to identify and improve any which have caused breaches or near misses, or which force staff to use workarounds which compromise data security.
  • Cyberattacks against services are identified and resisted and CareCERT security advice is responded to. And that action is taken as soon as possible following a data breach or near miss, with a report made to senior management within 12 hours of detection. Significant cyber-attacks are to be reported to CareCERT immediately following detection.
  • A continuity plan is in place to respond to threats to data security, including significant data breaches or near misses, and it is tested once a year as a minimum, with a report to senior management.
  • No unsupported operating systems, software or internet browsers are used within the IT estate.
  • A strategy is in place for protecting IT systems from cyber threats, based on a proven cyber security framework such as Cyber Essentials. This is reviewed at least annually.
  • IT suppliers are held accountable via contracts for protecting the personal confidential data they process and for meeting the National Data Guardian’s data-security standards.
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