New White House Initiative Boosts Patient Security in Cyberspace

The National Strategy for Trusted Entities in Cyberspace will protect patient’s electronic medical records.  The White House – in partnership with public- and private-sector organizations – has created a new program intended to enhance security and halt identity theft in cyberspace, especially physician-patient relationships.  The plan, called the National Strategy for Trusted Entities in Cyberspace, is designed to address issues such as personal health information safety. It relies primarily on creating an identity ecosystem, an online environment that would eliminate the need for multiple passwords and logins.  Rather, it would give people the opportunity to access a secure, interoperable credential for authentication.

As medical records increasingly are stored online, the initiative lets people and organizations “complete online transactions with confidence, trusting the identities of each other,” according to Howard Schmidt, national cybersecurity coordinator.  In a demonstration, a woman requested a smart identity card which she used to authenticate obtaining her electronic health records.  Although participation is voluntary, the government plans to adopt the identity ecosystem as soon as possible.  At that point, the government will identify and facilitate a pilot program in the healthcare sector.

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