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Health Information Security in Hospitals: the Application of Security Safeguards

Esmaeil Mehraeen, Haleh Ayatollahi, Maryam Ahmadi.


Introduction: A hospital information system has potentials to improve the accessibility of clinical information and the quality of health care. However, the use of this system has resulted in new challenges, such as concerns over health information security. This paper aims to assess the status of information security in terms of administrative, technical and physical safeguards in the university hospitals. Methods: This was a survey study in which the participants were information technology (IT) managers (n=36) who worked in the hospitals affiliated to the top ranked medical universities (university A and university B). Data were collected using a questionnaire. The content validity of the questionnaire was examined by the experts and the reliability of the questionnaire was determined using Cronbach’s coefficient alpha (α=0.75). Results: The results showed that the administrative safeguards were arranged at a medium level. In terms of the technical safeguards and the physical safeguards, the IT managers rated them at a strong level. Conclusion: According to the results, among three types of security safeguards, the administrative safeguards were assessed at the medium level. To improve it, developing security policies, implementing access control models and training users are recommended.

Key words: Information security, Hospital information system, Health information technology, security, safeguard.

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