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Health Informatics Glossary

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B2B   -   Short for an electronic commerce service that operates between businesses (i.e., business to business). B2B services generally replace paper transactions with electronic transactions. For example, HIE services replace the faxing of patient records on paper with the secure exchange of electronic patient records.   See HIE

BAA   -   A Business Associate Agreement (BAA) allows a covered entity to employ a contractor or other non-staff member (i.e., a "Business Associate") to perform services or activities which involve direct access to individually identifiable health information (IIHI). The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires that a covered entity include contractual protections for IIHI, which is the purpose of the BAA. In the agreement, a covered entity specifies safeguards for the IIHI used or disclosed by its business associates. A covered entity may not contractually authorize a business associate to make any use or disclosure of protected health information that would violate the HIPAA Privacy Rule.   See Business Associate, Covered Entity, HIPAA, IIHI, PHI

Back Door   -   Software code that allows a user (typically an administrator or a hacker) to circumvent standard application security. May be used in a complementary sense to describe software system administration tools, or in a critical sense to describe an application that fails to secure the perimeter of the software from unauthorized access.

Backbone   -   Bulk, high throughput data circuits. May refer to circuits between adjacent buildings on a single campus, or between non-adjacent physical facilities.

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Backup   -   As a verb, a process that creates an archival copy of data files or a system state (e.g., to backup). As a noun, the archival copy of a data system (e.g., the backup).

Bandwidth   -   A generic term referring to signal capacity, whether over a wire, a fiber, or a wireless circuit.

Benchmark   -   A measurement or evaluation of a business process in relation to the best practices for that business process across the entire business sector.

Best Practice   -   A technique or methodology that, through experience and research, has shown to reliably lead to a desired result.

BI   -   Business Intellegence (BI) is the category name for software tools and analytic business processes that allow distributed queries of of enterprise or federated data repositories. In a healthcare setting, BI tools allow construction of focused management dashboards, built by pulling clinical or operations data from disparate repositories. This information agility may lower the deployment and operating costs associated with traditional data warehouse projects.   See Dashboard, Data Warehouse

BioSense   -   A biosurveillance program operated by the CDC that seeks to track health problems as they evolve and provide public health officials with access to data, information and tools to better prepare for and coordinate response to the incident. Architecturally, BioSense is distributed via a cloud-based model and governed by ASTHO in coordination with CSTE, ISDS and NACCHO.   See ASTHO, Biosurveillance, CDC, CSTE, ISDS, NACCHO, Syndrome

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Biosurveillance   -   Systematic monitoring service to discover signals of potential biological hazards.   See BioSense, CDC, CDPH, Distribute, EARS, ESSENCE, GIPSE, ISDS, RODS, Sentinel Network, Signal, Syndrome, WHO

Bit   -   One binary digit, in base 2, the basis for electronic storage of data.   See Byte

Blue Button   -   The Blue Button enables users of personal health records to download their health information as a common ASCII text file, not as a structured CCD. The Blue Button emerged from the development of the My Health eVet portal by the VA.   See ASCII, CCD, VA, VDT

Blue Shield of California Foundation   -   See BSCF

Bluetooth   -   A proprietary short range wireless communication protocol, bluetooth is used for portable devices such as cell phone headsets, wireless keyboards, etc. Created in 1994 by European telecom vendor Ericsson as a wireless alternative to RS-232 cables.   See RS-232, Telecom

Bot   -   Short for a "web robot." A bot is a software application that runs automated tasks, typically over the Internet. Bots perform tasks that are simple and structurally repetitive, and can be programmed to operate at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone. The largest use of bots is in web spidering, in which an automated script fetches, analyses and stores information from web servers (e.g., search engines such as Google). Another common use of bots is when a response speed faster than that of humans is required, such as gaming or auction-sites. Bots can also perform nuisance or criminal tasks, such as denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.   See Botnet, DoS, DDoS, Spider

Botnet   -   A group of internet-connected computers whose security defenses have been breached and whose control is ceded to a 3rd party. Each compromised computer, known as a "bot", is created when a computer is penetrated by software from a malware distribution. The controller of a botnet is able to direct the activities of these compromised computers, such a launch a DDoS attack on a target system.   See Bot, DDoS, Malware

BPPC   -   The Basic Patient Privacy Consents service provides a mechanism to record patient privacy consent(s) and a method to enforce consent appropriate to use in an IHE environment.   See IHE

BREAD   -   Browse Read Edit Add Delete (BREAD) denotes the basic functions of persistant data storage.   See CRUD

Breach   -   As defined by HIPAA, the unauthorized acquisition, access, use, or disclosure of protected health information which compromises the security or privacy of such information. Apart from HIPAA, breach is also a generic computer security term describing unauthorized penetration of a system.   See HIPAA, IIHI, PHI

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Bridges To Excellence   -   BTE is a line of business managed by the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, a not-for-profit organization that designs and creates programs that encourage physicians and physician practices to deliver safer, more effective and efficient care by giving them financial and other incentives to do so.   See NQF, P4P, Pay For Performance, QIO

Broadband   -   A generic, nonspecific term referring to a digital communications circuit with a high volume of signal capacity.   See Analog, Dialup, Digital, DSL

Brooks's Law   -   A principle in software development which says "adding manpower to a late software project makes it later." The corollary says that an incremental person added to a project makes it take more not less time. Brook's coarse remark is "Nine women can't make a baby in one month." From the book "The Mythical Man Month" published by Frederick Brooks in 1975.

BSCF   -   Blue Shield of California Foundation is a private healthcare funder, providing $30 million annually for independent grantmaking.

BSS   -   Business Support System, used in the telecom sector to describe external customer facing service provisioning for an enterprise telecom network.   See OSS, Telecom

Bug   -   A software defect that causes a computer system to behave inconveniently, erratically or to fail altogether. Bugs are "reported" by users, are "tracked" by software project managers, and are "resolved" by programmers.   See Feature

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Business Associate   -   A business associate is a person or organization, other than a member of a covered entity's workforce, that performs any function or activity on behalf of, or provides services to, a covered entity that involve the use or disclosure of protected health information (PHI). Persons or organizations are not considered a business associate of a covered entity if their functions or services do not involve the use or disclosure of PHI, including where access to PHI by such persons would be incidental. A covered entity can be the business associate of another covered entity.   See Covered Entity, HIPAA, IIHI, PHI

Business Associate Agreement   -   See BAA

Business Intelligence   -   See BI

Business Process   -   A set of tasks, whether sequential, concurrent, or in combination, that accomplish a specific organizational task (e.g., schedule a patient appointment, originate a prescription, forward a referral, etc.).   See Workflow

Business Rules Engine   -   Business rules engines (also called inference engines) execute rules that have been externalized from software application code as part of a business rules approach. Externalization of business rules allows business users to modify the rules frequently without dependence upon intervention by IT. The system as whole becomes more adaptable because business rules can be changed dynamically.   See Algorithm, Expert System, Inference Engine

Byte   -   Eight bits. Bytes are generally counted in kilobytes (1,000 or 1,024 bits), megabytes (1,000 or 1,024 kilobytes), gigabytes (1,000 or 1,024 megabytes), etc.   See Bit, Kilobyte

 

 

 

 

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