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Ministry of Health sets minimum standards for data safety

Ministry of Health sets minimum standards for data safety

Cloud remains to the fore as ministry sets baseline data standards

Shayne Hunter (Ministry of Health)

Shayne Hunter (Ministry of Health)

Credit: Supplied

The Ministry of Health is encouraging health organisations to ensure the digital services they use are safe, secure, integrated and reliable.

The Ministry published its minimum requirements for digital, data and technology services for health organisations over night.  

The requirements specify that organisations must govern the data they hold in line with data protection and use, privacy, social license and Māori data sovereignty guidelines.

"We know many individual health agencies will use a wide range of technology from many different suppliers," said Shayne Hunter, deputy director-general data and digital.   

"The requirements strongly signal a move to a more open approach where digital services are cloud based, continually evolve and share data with other services – rather than working in isolation, or only working within an organisation."

The baseline requirements specify cloud delivery should be considered for all digital services in preference to locally hosted and configured technology, and that an assessment of risk be undertaken before their use.

Such an approach, which is the trend in many government related sectors, encourages collaboration, reduces duplication and helps maximise existing resources, Hunter said.

"The requirements reflect the important role of standards and includes those that are already published and and promoted – such as HISO standards and the the Health Information Security Framework – alongside new requirements." 

These are now in one place and the ministry has committed updating them annually.

Hunter was appointed to the data and digital role in January.


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