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Design and Implementation of a Digital Signature Solution for a Healthcare Enterprise.

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This paper presents a case study of a digital signature solution implementation for a healthcare organization that provides disability evaluation services for various government agencies and private companies. One service the company provides for its clients is online disability report generation and electronic report submission. When generating these disability reports, the signature of the examining physician is required for submission. The current process used by the company involves the manual collection of signatures. To streamline this process, and to meet legal and client requirements, the company was seeking a digital signature solution. A security framework previously proposed was utilized to guide the implementation of the digital signature solution. This security framework consists of eight sequential stages. An in-depth description of the first six stages for this case, including guidelines for choosing digital signature solutions, vendor analyses, and implementation issues, are provided.
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Tulu et al. Design and Implementation of a Digital Signature Solution
Design and Implementation of a Digital Signature Solution
for a Healthcare Enterprise
Bengisu Tulu
Claremont Graduate University
bengisu.tulu@cgu.edu
Haiqing Li
Claremont Graduate University
haiqing.li@cgu.edu
Samir Chatterjee
Claremont Graduate University
samir.chatterjee@cgu.edu
Brian N. Hilton
Claremont Graduate University
brian.hilton @cgu.edu
Deborah Lafky
Claremont Graduate University
deborah.lafky@cgu.edu
Thomas A. Horan
Claremont Graduate University
tom.horan@cgu.edu
ABSTRACT
This paper presents a case study of a digital signature solution implementation for a healthcare organization that provides
disability evaluation services for various government agencies and private companies. One service the company provides for
its clients is online disability report generation and electronic report submission. When generating these disability reports, the
signature of the examining physician is required for submission. The current process used by the company involves the
manual collection of signatures. To streamline this process, and to meet legal and client requirements, the company was
seeking a digital signature solution. A security framework previously proposed was utilized to guide the implementation of
the digital signature solution. This security framework consists of eight sequential stages. An in-depth description of the
first six stages for this case, including guidelines for choosing digital signature solutions, vendor analyses, and
implementation issues, are provided.
Keywords
Healthcare, Digital Signatures, Public Key Infrastructure, Security Framework, Case Study
INTRODUCTION
Digital signatures are messages that identify and authenticate a particular person as the source of the electronic message; and
indicate such person’s approval of the information contained in the electronic message (Policy and Communications Staff,
2000). They help users to achieve basic security building blocks such as identification, authentication, and integrity. This
paper presents a case study regarding the implementation of digital signatures within a healthcare organization that
collaborates with various clients such as government agencies and private organizations. Providing timely and accurate
medical disability evaluation information to these clients is an industry challenge. The company meets this challenge by
using technology to continuously improve performance and functionality. They provide electronic medical services to
healthcare practitioners for filing disability evaluation reports and sending them to clients. Regardless of the method used to
generate binding disability reports, the examining physician must sign them. The signature process currently used requires
the manual collection of signatures. The company was seeking a digital signature solution that would meet legal and client
requirements and would streamline the current signature process. A security framework previously proposed (Tulu and
Chatterjee, 2003) was utilized to guide the implementation of the digital signature solution. This security framework consists
of eight sequential stages. However, the framework is flexible allowing the implementer to revert to a previous stage at any
time during the implementation if needed.
The next section provides brief background information regarding the company and its processes as well as digital signature
processes. It will continue with the analysis of the digital signature implementation by utilizing the aforementioned security
framework. Each step will be explained in detail within the context of this case study. The paper will conclude with a
discussion and areas for future research.
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Tulu et al. Design and Implementation of a Digital Signature Solution
BACKGROUND
Company Background
The company provides an array of disability evaluations, management, and information services nationwide. They conduct
disability evaluations for clients such as the Veterans Administration (VA), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and
Worker’s Compensation. Over the past 20 years, they conducted and produced over 2 million disability exams and ratable
reports. They operate 26 medical evaluation facilities, and its nationwide provider network consists of 10,000 fully
credentialed physicians and auxiliary providers.
Providing timely and accurate medical disability evaluation information to clients is an industry challenge. The lack of
disability evaluation standards and a common terminology between various agencies also introduces a challenge for
physicians. Each disability program has its own definitions and terminology. A physician that is dealing with a disability
claim must learn the terminology related to that specific claim process and provide an evaluation report accordingly. The
differences between terminologies of one organization to another may cause further confusion and result in a less accurate
and/or poor quality assessment. The company meets these challenges by using technology to continuously improve
performance and functionality. One of these technologies allows the examiner to manage the claim cases online and in real-
time. Another one formats and presents the medical data gathered in the online report submission software in a narrative
report with electronic signature capability.
Online report submission software, developed in-house, is used to submit medical claim reports to the company where these
reports are reviewed for quality assurance and submitted to the clients. The electronic signature used in this software
currently utilizes a login username and password. However, according to the legal and client requirements, this type of
electronic signature is not accepted as a proof of signature. Therefore, after the doctor finalizes and “locks” the report, an
HTML page must be generated for the physician to print and sign after submitting the final report. This manually signed
page is then faxed back to the company where it will be scanned and kept with the electronic report as a proof of signature.
Digital Signature Technology
Digital signatures enable people to sign digital documents by providing the properties of a handwritten signature. They must
fulfill the five compelling attributes of handwritten signatures as listed by (Schneier, 1996). He stated that the handwritten
signatures are authentic, unforgeable, not reusable, unalterable, and cannot be repudiated. In the case of handwritten
signatures, both the signature and the document are physical things, which makes it difficult for the “signer” to claim the
signature is not their own. In order to provide a secure electronic signature scheme, these attributes must be satisfied.
Electronic signature technologies include PINs, user identifications and passwords, digital signatures, digitized signatures,
and hardware and biometric tokens (Policy and Communications Staff, 2000). Therefore, it is important to distinguish
between electronic and digital signatures. Digital signatures are a subset of electronic signature technologies that utilize keys
and cryptographic algorithms for signing documents.
Digital signatures can be generated using various techniques; however, the only digital signature standard approved by
National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) employs public key cryptography combined with a one-way hash
function. This infrastructure, commonly referred to as the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), requires each user to have a
public-private key pair where the public key is available to the world while the private key is only known by the user. Figure
1 illustrates the use of PKI for generating digital signatures.
The following is an example of a digital signature scenario. Bob (sender) wants to send Alice (receiver) a text message with
a digital signature. First, Bob creates the text message to be signed and generates a hashed message using a message digest
function (e.g., MD5, SHA1, etc.). A message digest function is a mathematical function that generates a 162-bit hash of the
original message; this hash cannot be used to regenerate the original message. Therefore, the hashed message is secure and
unique. Once Bob has the hashed message, he uses the public key digital signature algorithm and his private key to sign the
hash to generate a digital signature for the specific document. Once Alice receives the digital signature, and the
corresponding text message, she will need to calculate two separate values. First the hashed message of the received text is
calculated using the same hashing algorithm. Then, once she has the hash value, she can now use the decryption algorithm
with Bob’s public key and digital signature to retrieve the signed hash. If she can decrypt the digital signature, this implies
that Bob’s private key was used to encrypt the hashed message. The final step for Alice is to compare the hash she calculated
with the hash she retrieved from the decryption process. If these two hashed messages match, this implies that she received
the original message Bob signed (thus preserving message integrity).
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Tulu et al. Design and Implementation of a Digital Signature Solution
Figure 1. Digital Signatures Using PKI
Key generation and distribution are the biggest challenges in deploying PKI. The solution is to use a trusted central authority
– called a Certification Authority (CA) in PKI. CA is a trusted entity that accepts certificate applications from entities,
authenticates applications, issues certificates to users and devices in a PKI, and maintains and provides status information
about the certificates. If a CA is managing a large, geographically dispersed population, it may use Local Registration
Authorities (LRAs), who provide direct physical contacts with subjects. These LRAs are especially required if the CA is
issuing a high level of assurance for its certificates. Currently, there are four levels of assurance defined in the evolving
government standard (PEC Solutions, 2000): Rudimentary; Basic; Medium; and High.
Traditionally, PKI architectures fall into one of three configurations: a single CA, a hierarchy of CAs, or a mesh of CAs.
Each of the configurations is determined by the fundamental attributes of the PKI: the number of CAs in the PKI, where users
of the PKI place their trust (known as a user’s trust point), and the trust relationships between CAs within a multi-CA PKI
(Polk and Hastings, 2000). The most basic PKI architecture is one that contains a single CA, which provides the PKI services
(certificates, certificate status information, etc.) for all the users of the PKI. All the users of the PKI place their trust in the
sole CA of the architecture. Isolated CAs can be combined to form larger PKIs in two basic ways: using superior-subordinate
relationships, or peer-to-peer relationships. In the former, which is called a hierarchical PKI, all users trust a “root” CA.
There is single point of trust. The latter, a mesh PKI, connects CAs with a peer-to-peer relationship. A PKI constructed of
peer-to-peer CA relationships is called a “web of trust”. The Bridge Certification Authority (BCA) architecture was designed
to address the shortcomings of the two basic PKI architectures, and to link PKIs that implement different architectures.
Unlike a mesh PKI CA, the BCA does not issue certificates directly to users. In addition, the BCA is not intended to be used
as a trust point by the users of the PKI, unlike the “root” CA in a hierarchy.
IMPLEMENTATION OF A SECURITY FRAMEWORK
OASIS PKI Technical Committee, which was formed in January 2003, conducted a survey and a follow-up survey in June
and August 2003 respectively, with the goal of identifying primary obstacles to PKI deployment and usage (Hanna, 2003). A
major finding of this recent study shows that the PKI is a truly horizontal, enabling technology with many applications.
Nevertheless, 92% of the respondents noted that they would use PKI more if obstacles were removed. The top two obstacles
reported were: (1) Software Applications do not support PKI, and (2) Cost is too high. Respondents of this study also agreed
that the one critical application that needs improvements in PKI support is “document signing”; the problem examined in this
study.
Keeping these drawbacks of PKI deployment in mind, a framework was selected to guide the PKI implementation process. A
security framework (Tulu and Chatterjee, 2003), which was proposed to help management decide how to make their
organization compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), was utilized to decide
on how to implement the PKI at this company. The framework, illustrated in Figure 2, consists of eight sequential stages and
allows implementers to revert to a previous stage any time during the implementation. The following subsections describe
each step within the context of this specific case.
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Tulu et al. Design and Implementation of a Digital Signature Solution
Figure 2. Security Management Framework (modified from Tulu and Chatterjee, 2003)
Stage 1: Infrastructure Evaluation
The infrastructure evaluation is intended to provide a diagnostic of the current state of the company information systems
infrastructure. Table 1 below presents a brief summary of the diagnostics.
Stage 2: Set Goals and Objectives
The main goal of the PKI implementation is to eliminate the manual signature collection from physicians in the company
provider network and streamline the online medical report collection process. Meanwhile, this will enable the company to
implement a technology solution consistent with current and emerging standards and practices while satisfying the digital
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Tulu et al. Design and Implementation of a Digital Signature Solution
signature requirements enforced by HIPAA rules and NIST standards. It will also establish a trust relationship between
physicians and clients without requiring the company’s approval for a personal signature.
SYSTEM
HW: Servers, client machines
SW: MS Windows 2000 OS, IE Explorer 5.5 or better
Applications: MS SQL Server, Oracle, MS File System, IIS 5.0 Web Server
Network Security: HTTPS and SSL using Verisign Server side certificates.
STRUCTURE
Work Process: Described in the background section
Organizational Structure: The company has contracts with various federal agencies, state agencies, and private
companies. Based on these contracts, the company is responsible of providing a medical report, generated by a
physician after examining a claimant, for these clients. The company’s nationwide provider network involves 10,000
physician offices. The company operates 26 clinics.
Roles and Responsibilities: Physicians are responsible for providing an accurate medical exam report to the company
in a timely manner. The company is responsible for the completeness of the medical report as well as the format and
timeliness to its clients.
Geographic Spread: The company operates in 50 states.
POLICY
Organizational Security Policy: The company’s security policy is strictly controlled by various rules and regulations
and is enforced by governmental healthcare organizations. The company is under pressure to meet the specific
security requirements of its clients. To deal with these various governmental agencies and private organizations, the
company requires a security policy that could help to meet these requirements. Current security policy is to become
HIPAA compliant and follow the VA PKI policy (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2003) very closely as the VA is
the largest client of the company.
Management Support: The company’s upper management is very supportive of technology use and aware of the
security issues involved. Their mission is to be a pioneer in developing and implementing information technology to
improve the effectiveness of conducting and managing disability evaluations. Therefore, they are very responsive to
problems that occur while implementing new technologies.
Government Policy on Security: Explained in Section 2.
STRATEGY
A core competency of the company is bringing new technology to the field of disability evaluations. They have
positioned themselves as pioneers and innovators in this field. In the case of this digital signature project, the
company is ahead of its clients which is introducing some new problems into their strategic decision making process.
That is, they need to predict the behavior of their clients in order to implement a technology that will be compatible
with future implementations.
Table 1. Infrastructure Diagnosis
Stage 3: Functional Abstraction
This stage recommends an appraisal of the specific security requirements by rating them in importance of the operation for
the enterprise. The basic security blocks are included in Table 2, which illustrates the results of this analysis specific to the
company. The values were derived from interviews with key company personnel and security standards imposed by the
healthcare industry (e.g., HIPAA).
Authentication Authorization
Access
Control Integrity Confidentiality Privacy Availability
Importance HIGH HIGH HIGH HIGH MEDIUM MEDIUM MEDIUM
Table 2. Functional Abstraction
Authentication is the process of determining whether someone or something is, in fact, who or what it is declared to be.
Authorization is the process of deciding if someone or something is allowed to have access to a service or a resource. Access
control is a much more general way of talking about controlling access to a resource. It is analogous to controlling entrance
by some arbitrary condition which may or may not have anything to do with the attributes of the particular user (The Apache
Software Foundation, 2003). Integrity is the process of preventing, deterring, and detecting improper modification of
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Tulu et al. Design and Implementation of a Digital Signature Solution
information during or after transit (Kleinsteiber, 2002). Confidentiality is the process of protecting against the disclosure of
information to parties other than the intended recipient(s). Privacy is the ability and/or right to protect your personal secrets,
privacy cannot extend to legal persons such as corporations (Anderson, 2001).
Stage 4: Identification of Key Sources of Security Value
Patient satisfaction is always a key issue for healthcare providers. In the case of disability evaluations, rather than use the
term “patient”, “claimant” is used since each patient evaluated by a physician has filled-in a claim form and submitted it to
their healthcare provider (client). The medical examination conducted by the physician is directly related to this process and
it is necessary for the claimant to be reimbursed by the client. By utilizing a digital signature solution for electronic reports,
the company will provide faster service to its clients, which directly effects the response time of the client to the claimant.
Moreover, the PKI enables the company to encrypt all documents in a secure manner. This will help the company to ensure
the privacy of claimant information.
Another key source of security value relates to the physician productivity. Eliminating the manual print-and-fax process and
replacing it with a “single-click” will increase physician productivity. For the company, manual scanning of signatures will
no longer be required. External business relationships with clients will be enhanced as a result of providing a trust
relationship directly between providers and clients and also by eliminating the dependency on the company for signature
verification. The new digital signature system will improve the decision-making process for both clients and the company
where the accuracy of a medical report is of concern.
Stage 5: Impact Analysis
The digital signature standards that are accepted as HIPAA compliant are Public Key Cryptography and the One-Way Hash
function. Therefore, the company should benefit from these digital signature standards. Preliminary analysis has indicated
that the proposed solution would streamline the workflow process and eliminate the overhead on both physicians and the
company. Impact analysis of the workflow process was mentioned in the previous subsection. When stakeholders are
considered, the main concern is the impact on the physicians that will lead to a specific implementation requirement for a
simple, client side signature tool. Physician satisfaction is very critical concern in implementing a PKI-based digital signature
solution for the company. Based on a study (Horan, Tulu, Hilton and Burton, 2004) conducted among providers, it was
reported that work practice compatibility is very important in determining physicians’ behavioral intent to accept and use a
new system. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the new system will not introduce dramatic changes into current work
practice processes. For example, if signing a report becomes a complicated process, it is expected that physicians would be
less willing to use the system themselves and would eventually engage their assistants in the process of signature collection.
PKI implementation may have a significant impact on the existing legacy systems within the company. The implementation
of a digital signature solution for signing medical reports, will significantly impact the two applications used for online report
submission and generation. The implementation of the PKI will necessarily be highly integrated with these two applications
and significant programming changes and additional hardware may be required. Currently, the online submission software
does not allow physicians to view the Word document after they lock it. To generate a digital signature, the physician must
to view the Word document to be signed and click on the “lock and sign” button to generate a digital signature.
Legislative initiatives surrounding digital signatures began in the states with the first digital signature law that was enacted by
Utah in 1996. This law was based on work done by the Information Security Committee of the American Bar Association's
Section of Science and Technology (Garfinkel, 2002). As more states began to enact various similar laws, two models – the
Utah Model and the Massachusetts Model – emerged to become templates for others. The Utah model “envisioned a public
key infrastructure supported by state-licensed certification authorities” (Garfinkel, 2002) whereas the Massachusetts model
was more technology-neutral (i.e. not mandating PKI), including both digital signatures and other forms of electronic
authentication in its list of accepted technologies.
While state legislative activities were on the increase, the federal government tried to close the debate in 1999 and passed the
Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), which does not enforce PKI. In 2000, former President Clinton signed the
Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN), which added federal consumer protection elements
absent from UETA. E-SIGN “pre-empted all state laws except state laws that conform to the official text of
UETA”(Garfinkel, 2002). E-SIGN and UETA gave digital signatures the same legal validity as traditional paper-based
handwritten signatures. This implies that any standard electronic signature technology accepted by federal standards is a
legally valid proof of signature.
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Tulu et al. Design and Implementation of a Digital Signature Solution
UETA and E-SIGN do not impose the use of digital signatures at the federal level; in fact, each federal agency and
organization has the right to require higher security levels for electronic signatures. These legal considerations are very
important for electronic signature implementations. Since the subject company operates in different states, and deals with
state and federal agencies as well as with private organizations, the company must implement a solution that is at the
intersection of all the proposed solution sets; which eliminates all but PKI. While PKI will adequately address the legal
requirements, there are other considerations that must be factored in to the final implementation. These revolve around the
selection of a certification authority. The key considerations are: certificate reliability; authority reliability; CA architecture
and its impact on the clients’ existing systems; and cost. Since the subject company has no experience in functioning as a
CA, outsourcing this service is the only available option. A vendor must be selected that optimizes the cited factors. It should
be noted that the cost factor is closely tied to level of assurance. The estimates for this phase of the project were based on the
lowest level of assurance. A higher level of assurance would incur additional charges as well as complicate the certificate
management process, due to the additional proof required for authentication.
Stage 6: Solution Analysis
A complete requirements analysis will be necessary to formulate a solution. A digital signature solution, intended for internal
use only, will mostly depend on the availability of technology and the preferences of internal users. In this case, however,
the company and its clients will use the digital signature solution for authentication and verification. To evaluate the existing
solutions, meta-requirements were first identified. Then, these meta-requirements were expanded to specify implementation
requirements and standards. Finally, the evaluation criteria for each requirement were specified according to the
implementation requirements. Table 3 illustrates the requirements and the evaluation criteria.
Meta Requirements Implementation Requirements Evaluation criteria
E-SIGN / UTEA / 21 CFR 11 Match the requirements of E-SIGN and/or UTEA Legal compliance –
This solution should be able to
provide legal binding signatures. State laws Match the state requirements
Client Requirements –
The signature generated should be
compatible with client requirements.
PKI based digital signature
solution
Use one of the three algorithms provided by the Digital
Signature Standard (DSS)
Message integrity
Non-repudiation
User authentication
Special Industry Requirement –
This solution should match the
healthcare industry standard. HIPAA security matrix
Other Option Requirements
Platform compatible Web based solutions
Support Microsoft Windows Operating system, and
Internet Information Server 5
Support Microsoft Word Documentation format
Integrated with current reporting
system
Provide online signing and verification
CA solution No lock with single CA provider
Manageability Provide management interface; audit trials; data storage
solution for digitally signed documents.
Customizable Vendor provides standard APIs
Easy to use for physicians No special hardware and software requirements
The cost for physicians should be minimum
End user requirements –
This solution should match the user
requirements. The users include
providers, clients, and the company.
Cost The implementation cost should be reasonable based on
the fair market price
Table 3. Requirement Analysis
Table 4 illustrates the comparison of digital signature application solutions based on the five items listed in the framework as
well as additional items that were identified during the requirements analysis phase. Pricing for a Signature/Certificate
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Tulu et al. Design and Implementation of a Digital Signature Solution
solutions analyzed for 100 users ranged from $2,695 to $33,000. The reason for the wide range in pricing was due to the
one-time server fee requested by Provider2, which is $24,500 regardless of the number of users. However, if the number of
users increases to 10,000, this solution becomes more cost effective whereas the suggested solution from Provider1 becomes
less cost effective. The price range for 10,000 users is $178,900 to $393,000. Here, the certificate cost is a higher proportion
of the total annual cost, however, it is important to keep in mind that the examining physician rather than the company could
absorb the cost of the certificates.
Evaluation Criteria Provider 1 Provider 2 Provider 3
Match the requirements of E-SIGN and/or UTEA
Success case that work with government agents
Yes Yes Yes
Use one of the three algorithms in DSS Yes Yes Yes
Message integrity Yes Yes Yes
Non-repudiation Yes Yes Yes
User authentication Yes Yes Yes
Web based solutions Yes Yes Custom
Support Windows-based application (IIS5, IE) Yes Yes Yes
Support Microsoft Word format Yes Planned Custom
Provide online signing and verification Yes Yes Yes
No lock with signal CA provider Yes Yes Yes
Friendly Management interface
Audit trials
Data storage solution for digital signed documents
Yes
(1) transaction receipt
(2) file management
system
Yes No demo for
evaluation
Vendor provides standard API or library Yes Yes Yes
No special hardware and software requirements Yes Yes Yes
The cost for physician should be minimum No cost for
physician, except
the cost of
certificate
No cost for
physician, except
the cost of
certificate
No cost for
physician, except
the cost of
certificate
The implementation cost should be reasonable based on
the fair market price
N/A N/A N/A
Table 4. Solution Comparison
The study also compared different CA solutions based on the requirements and proposed three CA providers who are capable
of satisfying all the requirements. The implementation strategy proposed was outsourcing the CA to a third-party CA
provider so that the company can focus on the application side of the implementation. The company identified as a critical
requirement that the application fits the physician office workflow as already defined. Pilot tests can help to reveal any
issues related to the CA. Once the digital signature application is adopted, it will be easier for the company to identify any
issues regarding the CA. After this experience, the company may decide to operate as their own CA. The size and
geographic dispersion of the physician provider network will challenge the CA implementation. The number of CAs, how
they will be placed, and what performance bottlenecks can appear are questions that should be addressed.
CONCLUSION
Based on analysis conducted during stage one through six of the security framework, recommendations for the company were
generated. First, the company must meet client requirements by following current standards and by analyzing the enterprise
architecture of the client organizations. Within this context, the most important decision is the selection of a Certificate
Authority (CA). Our analysis indicated that selecting a third party CA would be more appropriate for the company, since
their technical team has no experience in digital signatures, or PKI implementation, and it is therefore not a core competency
of the company to provide a CA solution in-house. However, as the company’s experience develops, it may reassess the idea
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of deploying an in-house CA solution should it become a client requirement. Secondly, while selecting an application vendor,
the company must find a vendor that can easily integrate a solution within the company’s information systems and workflow
processes. We evaluated several vendors and recommended one to take into a pilot-testing phase. A formal pilot test was the
third of our major recommendations. We proposed a multi-step pilot-testing phase. First, we proposed an initial lab-based test
in which potential software solutions can be evaluated prior to testing with actual users. If the lab test succeeds, then 10
physicians are to be selected from the physician provider network. These physicians will be equipped with certificates and
instructed in system use. While the lab testing is underway, the company’s technical team will be working to integrate the
selected software solution with their existing software and workflow. When this effort is completed, the pilot phase users will
be brought online. We then propose to evaluate the user response, using methodology to be described in a follow-up study to
the present one, and including examinations of migration strategies, physician acceptance, system adoption, and inter-
organizational impact. The final two stages of the security framework, implementation and evaluation, have not yet been
addressed in the course of this project. It is expected that the pilot-testing phase will commence as recommended, and the
results of these two security framework steps will be reported in the future.
Future studies could draw on this case to address the inability of the healthcare industry to use a common digital signature
solution. The research presented here expands the knowledgebase regarding implementation of PKI based digital signature
solutions. Follow on studies should expand the knowledgebase of user acceptance of digital signatures in the medical field by
examining online systems and public/private key management challenges.
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... The control vector is passed through the hash function, and the value of the hash function is then XORed with the master key to produce a value that is used as the key input for encrypting the session key. 30 Symmetric key distribution using asymmetric encryption A public-key cryptosystem is used to encrypt secret keys for distribution, which is inefficient for the direct encryption of sizable blocks of data. One of its advantages is that it is simple and at the same time secure from eavesdropping since there is no key before calling and no key after calling. ...
... To solve the problem, one must ensure both confidentiality and authentication during the exchange of a secret key. 30 A hybrid scheme is another way to distribute the secret key using public-key encryption. The hybrid scheme retains KDC to share a secret master key with users and distributes secret session keys encrypted with the master key. ...
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Cryptography is a scientific method that is used to transmit secret information. In contrast, quantum cryptography depends on physical laws to encrypt information; when the quantum computer appeared, the classic encryption method becomes inefficient. The quantum method is commonly used to distribute keys, a process called as quantum key distribution (QKD). In this paper, we consider the efficiency of the quantum method compared to classical methods. Also, we discuss the security of QKD against several attacks and provide security analysis based on probabilistic models. Additionally, the paper explains how to encrypt random numbers into a sequence of photons using a QKD system for the distribution of a key. This research demonstrates the efficiency and security of QKD in sending and distributing keys between communication parties. Thus, both the sender and the receiver would be able to obtain a security key using the quantum method rather than classical methods.
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In today's world of ever increasing amounts of information, hospitals and medical groups must continually find ways to manage the myriad information that is gathered on patients. This reality makes the field of medicine well suited to benefit from integrative and online information systems. However, research reveals that at times physicians resist the use of information technology (IT) in the clinical setting. This paper seeks to develop a conceptual model for physician acceptance and test this socio-work structure model using a nationwide survey of physicians (n=141) conducted by the authors. The domain focus of this study is physician acceptance of an online disability evaluation system for generating and managing medical examination reports. The survey measured whether behavioral intention to use the new system varied as a function of IT infrastructure, organizational processes relating to IT, physician experience with computer use in clinical settings, and both specific and general attitudes toward IT use in clinical settings. Survey findings suggest that each of these factors affects behavioral intention to use online disability evaluation systems, and that these factors are more important than generalized attitudes toward online systems or socio-demographic predictors. These findings suggest that work-system variables are important when considering physicians use of online systems. This extends traditional use of TAM to consider organizational factors when analyzing the acceptance decision.
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Security in health care information systems is among the highest priority research topics. Introduction of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) increased the pressure on health care organizations for implementing security. Two existing frameworks, which affect the proposed security standards, are introduced. It is important to understand the development of standards and how they can be useful, in order to successfully implement them. In this paper, we propose a techno-managerial framework that
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Learn how to minimize the risks of the Web with this comprehensive guide. It covers browser vulnerabilities, privacy concerns, issues with Java, JavaScript, ActiveX, and plug-ins, digital certificates, cryptography, Web server security, blocking software, censorship technology, and relevant civil and criminal issues.
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Gigantically comprehensive and carefully researched, Security Engineering makes it clear just how difficult it is to protect information systems from corruption, eavesdropping, unauthorized use, and general malice. Better, Ross Anderson offers a lot of thoughts on how information can be made more secure (though probably not absolutely secure, at least not forever) with the help of both technologies and management strategies. His work makes fascinating reading and will no doubt inspire considerable doubt--fear is probably a better choice of words--in anyone with information to gather, protect, or make decisions about. Be aware: This is absolutely not a book solely about computers, with yet another explanation of Alice and Bob and how they exchange public keys in order to exchange messages in secret. Anderson explores, for example, the ingenious ways in which European truck drivers defeat their vehicles' speed-logging equipment. In another section, he shows how the end of the cold war brought on a decline in defenses against radio-frequency monitoring (radio frequencies can be used to determine, at a distance, what's going on in systems--bank teller machines, say), and how similar technology can be used to reverse-engineer the calculations that go on inside smart cards. In almost 600 pages of riveting detail, Anderson warns us not to be seduced by the latest defensive technologies, never to underestimate human ingenuity, and always use common sense in defending valuables. A terrific read for security professionals and general readers alike. --David Wall Topics covered: How some people go about protecting valuable things (particularly, but not exclusively, information) and how other people go about getting it anyway. Mostly, this takes the form of essays (about, for example, how the U.S. Air Force keeps its nukes out of the wrong hands) and stories (one of which tells of an art thief who defeated the latest technology by hiding in a closet). Sections deal with technologies, policies, psychology, and legal matters.
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The objective of this paper is to give a comprehensive introduction to applied cryptography with an engineer or computer scientist in mind. The emphasis is on the knowledge needed to create practical systems which supports integrity, confidentiality, or authenticity.
Storage Networking Industry Association Technology Center
  • J Kleinsteiber
Kleinsteiber, J. (2002) Storage Networking Industry Association Technology Center, http://www.snia.org/apps/group_public/download.php/1634/Authenicated_Infrastructures.pdf.
  • Administration Ed
PEC Solutions (2000) (Ed, Administration, U. S. D. o. J. D. E.) http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/ecomm/csos/cert_req/section2/2_2.htm.
National Archives and Records Administration
Policy and Communications Staff (2000) National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.