Ethical issues in public health informatics: implications for system design when sharing geographic information
2002 (English)In: Journal of Biomedical Informatics, ISSN 1532-0464, E-ISSN 1532-0480, Vol. 35, no 3, 178-185 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Public health programs today constitute a multi-professional inter-organizational environment, where both health service and other organizations are involved. Developing information systems, including the IT security measures needed to suit this complex context, is a challenge. To ensure that all involved organizations work together towards a common goal, i.e., promotion of health, an intuitive strategy would be to share information freely in these programs. However, in practice it is seldom possible to realize this ideal scenario. One reason may be that ethical issues are often ignored in the system development process. This investigation uses case study methods to explore ethical obstacles originating in the shared use of geographic health information in public health programs and how this affects the design of information systems. Concerns involving confidentiality caused by geographically referenced health information and influences of professional and organizational codes are discussed. The experience presented shows that disregard of ethical issues can result in a prolonged development process for public health information systems. Finally, a theoretical model of design issues based on the case study results is presented.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 35, no 3, 178-185 p.
Confidentiality, Geographical information systems (GIS), Health informatics, IT security, Privacy, Public health, Requirements engineering (RE), Systems development
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-46991DOI: 10.1016/S1532-0464(02)00527-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-46991DiVA: diva2:267887