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Original Article

Managing the Security of Nursing Data in the Electronic Health Record

Mahnaz Samadbeik, Zahra Gorzin, Masomeh Khoshkam, Masoud Roudbari.

Background: The Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a patient care information resource for clinicians and nursing documentation is an essential part of comprehensive patient care. Ensuring privacy and the security of health information is a key component to building the trust required to realize the potential benefits of electronic health information exchange. This study was aimed to manage nursing data security in the EHR and also discover the viewpoints of hospital information system vendors (computer companies) and hospital information technology specialists about nursing data security. Methods: This research is a cross sectional analytic-descriptive study. The study populations were IT experts at the academic hospitals and computer companies of Tehran city in Iran. Data was collected by a self-developed questionnaire whose validity and reliability were confirmed using the experts’ opinions and Cronbach’s alpha coefficient respectively. Data was analyzed through Spss Version 18 and by descriptive and analytic statistics. Results: The findings of the study revealed that user name and password were the most important methods to authenticate the nurses, with mean percent of 95% and 80%, respectively, and also the most significant level of information security protection were assigned to administrative and logical controls. There was no significant difference between opinions of both groups studied about the levels of information security protection and security requirements (p>0.05). Moreover the access to servers by authorized people, periodic security update, and the application of authentication and authorization were defined as the most basic security requirements from the viewpoint of more than 88 percent of recently-mentioned participants. Conclusions: Computer companies as system designers and hospitals information technology specialists as systems users and stakeholders present many important views about security requirements for EHR systems and nursing electronic documentation systems. Prioritizing of these requirements helps policy makers to decide what to do when planning for EHR implementation. Therefore, to make appropriate security decisions and to achieve the expected level of protection of the electronic nursing information, it is suggested to consider the priorities of both groups of experts about security principles and also discuss the issues seem to be different between two groups of participants in the research.

Key words: Electronic Health Records, Management, Security, Nursing.

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American Journal of Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology


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