SA publishes IT governance, secure messaging standards

Standards Australia has published a new standard to assist organisations with appropriate governance frameworks for large IT projects, as well as three standards and one technical specification for secure messaging.

The new AS/NZS 8016 is not eHealth-specific but is based on an ISO corporate governance model.

Project editor and member of the Standards Australia technical committee IT-030 Max Shanahan said the standard was designed to raise awareness among boards and executives of their governance responsibilities.

Mr Shanahan said the standard was also designed to assist members of governing bodies, who are required to evaluate business cases for major IT-related investment decisions, without having the benefit of a technology background.

Standards Australia CEO Bronwyn Evans said the standard had been prepared to set out how significant IT projects can benefit through the use of appropriate governance frameworks and principles.

“Organisations undertaking significant IT projects will find this is the ‘go-to’ document when it comes to linking governance and management,” Dr Evans said.

The organisation has also published four secure message delivery (SMD) documents that have been designed to incorporate new practices and technologies into the eHealth messaging system.

They are:

  • AS 5550 E-health web services profiles, which defines profiles of the SOAP web services specifications, a base set of specifications for web services so they can be defined for eHealth, and profiles that can be used to secure those web services
  • AS 5551 E-health XML secured payload profiles, which defines mechanisms for representing signed XML fragments and encrypted XML fragments
  • AS 5552 E-health Secure Message Delivery, which defines a set of roles in the secure message delivery process and their associated interfaces and behaviour
  • ATS 5546 E-Health Endpoint Location Service, which defines the technical service specification for the endpoint location service and contains the requisite datatypes and interfaces and behaviours, as well as conformance criteria intended for unambiguous operation between clients and service providers.

“The documents represent a standard system which makes use of existing internet infrastructure to transfer health documents accurately and securely,” Dr Evans said.

She also said they provide an opportunity for broad adoption and implementation, as an essential part of the secure messaging infrastructure now being widely sought across the health sector.

The standards were developed by the IT-014-06 health informatics messaging subcommittee, which is funded by the federal Department of Health.

The secure messaging standards are available for free from Standards Australia's eHealth site.

AS/NZS 8016 is available for purchase from SAI Global.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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