The radio component of a pair of wireless monitoring devices for inpatient use has been tested and validated to federal encryption and data security standards, making the products eligible for use in federal healthcare organizations such as the Veterans Health Administration.
Wireless device gets privacy OK
The National Institute of Standards and Technology confirmed that it has validated the test results of the communications module developed by the OpenSSL Software Foundation for compliance with the Federal Information Processing Standard, 140-2 Level 1, under the Cryptographic Module Validation Program.
Compliance with the standard is required under the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 for wireless devices used in federal agencies. The validation program is a joint effort of the NIST, which is an arm of the Commerce Department, and the Communications Security Establishment Canada.
“For years, VHA has used vital signs monitors that exchange data with clinical information systems and electronic medical record systems,” according to VA spokeswoman Josephine Schuda in an e-mail statement. “This wireless capability enables a VA medical facility to consider using its own wireless network for the vital signs monitoring,” Schuda said. “One advantage of using this wireless capability is automated uploading of vital signs data to the electronic medical record, which leads to more timely documentation and treatment decisions.”
Encryption is needed because with some vital signs monitors, the physiologic data from the devices are associated with a specific patient, Schuda said. “If sensitive patient data is communicated over the wireless network, it must be secure.”
The module is integrated into Welch Allyn's Connex Vital Signs Monitor 6500 Series and its Connex Integrated Wall System 8500 Series, according to the Skaneateles Falls, N.Y.-based medical-device maker.
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