A new system for transferring personal health information files has not only enhanced data security, but it’s taken the Ontario Ministry of Health out of the 1960’s and into the 21st century, according to the Ministry’s security architect, David Wilkins.

“There wasn’t a system before this, this is entirely new,” said Wilkins.

Wilkins said that prior to the implementation of California-based Tumbleweed’s Secure Transport system, the Ministry was using couriers and a paper-based system to transfer health information.

“We’ve gone from the 60’s and 70’s into the early 2000’s in one jump,” he added.

The Ministry of Health transfers personal health information typically for financial, billing and claims transactions between doctors and hospitals. These transactions often contain billing information along with personal health information that must be secure and protected, said Wilkins.

In its current file transfer process, the Ministry establishes an out-of-bend security arrangement with either an internal or external partner