Argus achieves CCA for secure messaging

Database Consultants Australia's (DCA) Argus version 6.0 secure messaging product has passed the Conformance, Compliance and Accreditation (CCA) assessment process for the National E-Health Transition Authority's (NEHTA) secure messaging delivery (SMD) implementation.

It was evaluated by two independent assessors in January and received its formal documentation of compliance from KJ Ross & Associates on February 15.

Argus' general manager Ross Davey said the team had been early adopters of the CCA initiative because it believed a common approach to clinical messaging will eventually lead to better capabilities for health professionals.

He said delivery of a SMD product capable of passing CCA testing was not only important to Argus, but also to its vendor collaborators Best Practice, Zedmed, Medtech Global and Communicare, which have chosen Argus to be their messaging partners for achieving SMD capability under their NEHTA vendor panel contract.

“The sophistication of the Argus implementation and changes to its architecture is far more complex than anything put through the NEHTA CCA process to date, meaning that this achievement is all the more impressive,” Mr Davey said.

“Argus not only has to provide full new SMD functionality but also has had to retain the capability for continuing to exchange messages with older versions of Argus so that transition of all clients to the newer SMD technology can be seamless and painless.”

Argus v6.0 has the capability to communicate via SMD with other messaging providers. Mr Davey said the new architecture can give all sending applications the ability to detect what the receiving capabilities are of all recipients prior to sending a document; rather than the error-prone method that is current standard practice across most messaging systems of sending a document and hoping for the best.

“SMD conformance now also opens the possibility for reliable messaging provider interconnectivity,” he said.

Another DCA product, Connectingcare, a web-based directory of health and community services integrated with a secure messaging and referral system, has also received its CCA certificate.

Connectingcare has been used across Victoria by primary care partnerships since 1998 and enables member agencies to securely send referrals and other secure messages.

Connectingcare was acquired by DCA in July 2010 to complement its existing systems for a range of health and community services.

More than 23,000 Victorian services are listed at Connectingcare's online service directory, which is based on the Victorian Department of Health's Human Services Directory (HSD) data model.

Argus v6.0 will use DCA's endpoint location services (ELS), which has been implemented in conjunction with the HSD, Argus' operations manager, Chris Crawley, said.

“This ELS is also available to vendors for the future purposes of interconnectivity under an agreement with DCA,” Mr Crawley said.

The initial release and deployment of Argus v6.0 will be limited to Wave 1 PCEHR participants to provide SMD capability according to their project objectives. Argus is working with Best Practice, Medtech32 and ZedMed through the Wave 1 and 2 projects.

Mr Davey said once DCA's contractual commitments have been met with NEHTA the company will focus on a broad public release of an enhanced version of v6.0 to provide some added features to Argus for its entire user base.

“This is expected to be ready for public release in the second quarter of this year,” he said.

Mr Davey praised Mr Crawley and lead developer Paul McMahon for their work in achieving CCA accreditation. Argus’ interfacing and testing expert Helen Brownbill ensured the product had undergone exhaustive testing prior to working with KJ Ross in the formal testing process, he said.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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