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D4.2: Set of requirements for interoperability of Identity Management Systems

ehealth  FIDIS
 Importance of interoperability


Main identity issues

Robben heads the egovernment projects in Belgium’s social sector. Robben highlighted the importance of identity in the overall context of government’s responsibility for social care. He also pointed out that identity management would allow for gains in efficiency and cost reductions given that information on tests and analysis could be reused, for example x-rays (taken several times by different health care units). The role of the GP is also reinforced, given the greater access to information and control over patients. He also highlighted that interoperability is not just about managing identities, but rather it encompasses the understanding of the whole functioning of ehealth so that it reflects the existing different roles and responsibilities in the system. He also stressed the importance of ensuring high standards in the registration and authentication procedures across entities in different countries. He said it was important to guarantee “quality insurance criteria for the registration procedures that are used to determine the identity, relevant characteristics or mandates before linking it to authentication or verification means”.


Neke emphasised the importance of reliable information about identities in dealing with patients. She also referred to the communication between GPs, pharmacists and between other care providers. For Müller, the most important issue is data protection, including availability of the service and protection against unauthorised access.


Otter is Director at the Austrian’s Social Security Office Austria. This office started the distribution of the eCard to all socially insured Austrian Citizens on 30th May 2005. It is planned to finish the roll-out of the 8 million-plus eCards in December 2005. Otter stated that Austria has a centralised resident register system or “Zentrales Melde Register” (ZMR) where every person born in Austria gets a social security number. This number consists of the birth date plus a 4-digit number. The eCard is distributed to all Austrian citizens, but non-Austrians who have no such number, had to be added to the system. Avoid multiple entries in the database was a key concern. This problem begins with trivialities such as typing people’s names correctly: Austria has a regulation that every citizen can ask to be addressed by his “original” name including characters like ä, ë, í, õ, ü etc.. The new eCard uses a newly developed numbering system – the so called bPK (sector specific personal identifier).




ehealth  fidis-wp4-del4_2.set_of_requirements_03.sxw  Importance of interoperability
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