The National E-Health Transition Authority has picked IBM to design and build the National Authentication Service for Health, an authentication service for its e-health records roll-out.
The deal, worth $23.6 million, will see the provider create a system by 30 June 2012, which will use public key infrastructure and secure tokens such as smart cards to provide an authenticated service so that healthcare personnel and providers can exchange e-health information including referrals, prescriptions and personally controlled electronic health records.
"It is critically important that when our doctors and nurses use e-health systems they know that they are sending and receiving communications to and from the right people," Health Minister Nicola Roxon said.
"This system will put in place strong access control mechanisms for [personally controlled electronic health records] so that patients will be able to grant access to their information — and be able to track which providers have accessed their records."
"This program will benefit over 600,000 Australian doctors, nurses and allied health providers, and accelerate the delivery of smarter healthcare across the entire healthcare system," said IBM Australia and New Zealand managing director Andrew Stevens.
The National Authentication Service for Health will meet the standards of the National e-Authentication Framework, the Gatekeeper PKI Framework and the National Smartcard Framework managed by the Australian Government Information Management Office, according to Roxon's office. IBM is also providing a software development kit so that existing healthcare systems and deployments will be able to integrate with the service.