Transactions of the International Conference on Health Information Technology Advancement

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Adoption of the electronic medical records (EMRs) or electronic health records (EHRs) by healthcare providers will improve the quality of the American healthcare and reduce the annual bill. However, it will also increase privacy threats due to easier dissemination of EMRs/EHRs than “paper” medical records. Current privacy protection solutions for patient EMRs/EHRs have two main limitations: (1) they require an extensive exchange of messages between computer systems of healthcare providers; and (2) they depend only on data encryption.

In this position paper, we propose a solution that provides protection for the patients' EMRs/EHRs disseminated among different authorized healthcare provider systems. This is achieved through the use of the construct named active bundles (ABs). ABs keep EMRs/EHRs as sensitive data, include metadata containing privacy policies, and encompass a virtual machine that enforces privacy policies.