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Date: June 14, 2000

Better Security

Electronic maintenance and movement of patient health records provides the potential for multi-media, comprehensive records throughout a patient's lifetime. But electronic storage and on-line transfers also raise concerns over the records' security. World leaders in health informatics from academic institutions, professional organizations, industry and governing bodies will address these issues at a conference organized by UVic on behalf of Working Group 4 (WG4) of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel in Victoria June 21 to 24. For the past 20 years, IMIA WG4 has focused on maintaining security and confidentiality of health data. During the conference, participants will develop recommendations for the security of electronic patient records.

"Who is responsible for record security? How can we prevent unintentional or fraudulent security breaches? Who is allowed access to the contents of the records and under what conditions? These are some of the questions we will be discussing with our colleagues," says Dr. Jochen Moehr, chair of the conference's local organizing committee and a faculty member with UVic's school of health information science. The school is the only one of its kind in Canada.

Moehr and Dr. Jim McDaniel, a PhD graduate of the school, pioneered the development of an economic, highly reliable and highly secure system for the communication of sensitive electronic patient data in the early 90s.

Media contacts:
Dr. Jochen Moehr (health information science) at (250) 721-8581 prior to the conference. He and WG4 committee chairs will be available to discuss their recommendations at 2 p.m. on June 24 at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

(image: fern)