The NIST-patented “Role-based Workflow” provides order-of-magnitude improvements in patient privacy for post-Wikileaks EHR software systems
The unfolding of the WikiLeaks saga, in which a quarter-million State Department documents were leaked, has clearly demonstrated just how serious privacy breaches can be for the individuals and organizations involved. Virtual Global — a foremost provider of cloud-based platforms – has released Role-based Workflow, a patented NIST invention that provides order-of-magnitude improvements in the privacy of medical records.
Role-based Workflow, which grants situational, need-to-know access to information and records, is an alternative to overly broad access procedures, which can result in heightened vulnerability. Those broad access procedures are what allowed Army Pfc. Bradley Manning to allegedly carry out the leakage of classified information through State Department reports. And what has been learned, aside from the obvious fact that flawed IT systems lead to systemic flaws, is that the security of information — despite the myriad internal and external security measures implemented by system developers and at data centers — still comes down to the integrity of people.
Instead of providing 24/7 access which assumes broad authorization, Role-based Workflow grants momentary access to a single record or a set of records that pertain only to the case at hand. “Obviously, there’s a better understanding now of the usefulness and importance of cloud computing, as evidenced by the recent comments of Chief Information Officer Vikek Kundra and also the ‘cloud-first’ IT directive issued recently by the White House,” said Virtual Global CEO, Cary Landis. “But, especially at Virtual Global, it’s about more than just increasing efficiency and limiting vulnerability. It’s also about continuing to steadily apply forward-thinking, and Role-based Workflow fits that bill with its ability to help prevent the types of informational security lapses that have caused embarrassing data leakages. It really comes down, quite simply, to building the right algorithm into a larger piece of software for the purpose of improving security and privacy. And in our Role-based Workflow, which is patented by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, we have that.”
Developments like Role-based Workflow, available from Virtual Global, could have prevented the WikiLeaks debacle and, if Virtual Global’s founders have their say, Role-based workflow could play an important role in the solving of what has the potential to be an even stickier situation than WikiLeaks; a situation highlighted sharply by the very failure of the State Department to protect its data.
The HI TECH ACT, detailed by the Department of Health and Human Services, provides incentives for healthcare providers to implement a system of electronic health records (EHR). The Obama administration is concurrently pushing for all Medicare doctors and medical facilities to go digital by the year 2014, or face sharp penalties starting the following year. In its overall push toward digitized medical records, some fear that the federal government may be opening an even bigger can of worms which, if punctured, could lead to the sort of data leakage that could permanently damage the trust of patients in their medical providers.
Once again, though, Virtual Global – thanks to Role-based Workflow application – provides a framework in which access is something not to be taken lightly. HIT PLATFORM™, an online toolkit and open platform for rapidly creating healthcare software solutions, features the patented Role-based Workflow application to ensure order-of-magnitude improvements in patient privacy, as well.
“We do feel that Role-based Workflow is on many levels the answer to the problem,” said Landis of Virtual Global’s plan for helping clients make the right IT transitions. “We have the solution for government, and the experience, and we have the kinds of solutions for Health IT that can really help a lot of folks from feeling left out in the cold and trembling. The problems within federal agencies and Health IT are real, and challenging. But our solutions are the right ones, and we feel confident moving forward that we will play a big part in making important systems work smarter.”
Coming on the heels of CIO Kundra’s continued pro-cloud stance and the ‘cloud-first’ white house report (Driving IT Reform: An Update, by Jeffrey Zients) issued last month, the General Services Administration (GSA) recently became the first federal agency to float its email servers to a cloud-computing platform. In an effort to make government more efficient and to make it work better for the people, the U.S. government – the largest IT consumer in the world – is adapting to cloud-based applications and Virtual Global, which provides a strategic road map for cloud services, is there to lead the way into the future and beyond.
For more information about Virtual Global’s HIT PLATFORM™ and Role-based Workflow, please visithttp://virtualglobal.com.
About Virtual Global:
Virtual Global is a DC-area provider of cloud-enabled software platform solutions for organizations such as NASA and NIST. Products include the TeamHost™ cloud platform for building SaaS applications without programming; TeamLeader™, a project management 2.0 software for tracking and reporting on virtual teams in real-time; HIT PLATFORM™, a Health IT cloud based platform; and Cloudipedia, a website that brings cloud computing information to entrepreneurs. Since 1995, Virtual Global’s technologies have served commercial and federal customers worldwide with enterprise-class IT needs.