NHS could use cloud computing to deliver patient records to criminals more efficiently

Opinion

NHS could use cloud computing to deliver patient records to criminals more efficiently

As the NHS takes its first step to storing patient information in the Cloud, many people are asking: can we trust the cloud? More importantly, given its past record, can we trust the NHS?

The Cloud Industry Forum is obviously confident in the safety of the arrangement.

Below is their official announcement. Do you share their confidence?

The NHS and cloud service provider (CSP) Flexiant are teaming up to launch a pilot cloud storage scheme, says a press release from the Cloud Industry Forum. 

The scheme allows patients to invite consultants and GPs to access their personal information. The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) supports the replacement of a paper-based system with an e-health platform, but also emphasises that the CSP storing this data must be accountable and capable of supplying a secure service.

Andy Burton, chairman of CIF, seemed very excited: "An e-health platform to store NHS patient information in the Cloud is a potentially ground-breaking idea which will completely change how our healthcare system is managed.

"The level of trust in the Cloud that the NHS is showing by testing this system is a huge step for the industry and one we fully support. It emphasises that the Cloud is becoming increasingly accepted by consumers," he said.

"However, as and when the NHS does decide to formally store patient information in the Cloud, it should ensure that any shortlisted Service Providers offer them and, therefore, UK citizens all appropriate transparency, capability and accountability for the service," he said.

"At the Cloud Industry Forum, we encourage professional CSPs to self-certify against an industry Code of Practice," he promised

Does this reassure you? Answers in the comments box, please.

This was first published in June 2011

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