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NIST Software May Help Improve Health IT Privacy

Health Data Security_April 2010According to a recently released statement from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, health IT may be incorporating privacy software the agency developed 10 years prior to control access to critical information systems.

The patented software was created by former member of NIST’s Software and Systems Division John Barkley to “provide dramatically improved security and privacy to patients,” as explained by the algorithm’s creator.“It solves the problem of overly broad access to patient information, which is widespread.”

According to NIST’s website, the software would reduce people without necessary purpose availability to access health records.

“Once you’ve been admitted to the hospital, the admissions staff doesn’t necessarily need access to your records anymore. But in many hospitals, those staff members nonetheless continue to have access to every record on file,” Barkley explained. “Using the algorithm we patented, those staffers would only be able to access your record during admission processing. After that, they would find your information unavailable—though the doctor who was treating you would still have access to it.”

The health IT provider, Virtual Global, Inc., purchased the patent and plans to incorporate it into its “HealthCapsule” cloud platform.

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