HNSecure Information

HNSecure is software developed by the Ministry of Health that opens the way for health care professionals and employers to securely exchange data across the Internet. HNSecure ensures that only registered users can send and receive messages, and that the messages are tamper proof and fully encrypted. Our health data remains secure and confidential. HNSecure is robust, secure, scalable to high transaction volumes and easy for business application developers to work with. HNSecure is designed to keep the cost to all health partners as low as possible, and using the Internet means that there will be no additional transaction or usage charges for transmitting messages using HNSecure.

Why Did We Develop HNSecure?

The Challenges

  • Volume - The decentralized BC health care system has many partners.
  • Complexity - Today, these partners use a complex mix of custom legacy applications to manage their day to day business.
  • Diversity - There is no common operating system, no common platform, no common infrastructure.
  • Security - Without the ability to securely exchange information, patient care and services are delayed, costs go up and health care suffers.
  • Cost - We needed a way to provide a solution at little or no cost to all health care participants.

The Options

There are other solutions available today. HealthnetBC examined such options, and discovered these drawbacks:

  • Do not scale up well to large populations - performance issues exist, and extensive investment in infrastructure is required;
  • Available on only one platform;
  • Security concerns are not fully addressed;
  • May involve programming tasks that present problems for developers; and,
  • Licensing on a large scale is costly.

The BC health system's unique requirements were not met by any of the currently available solutions. HNSecure was conceived to meet these requirements.


Any such system will inevitably raise concerns over message authenticity and patient confidentiality. Security specialists have completed detailed analyses of HNSecure, and found that:

  • HNSecure meets all security, privacy and confidentiality requirements for the transmission of health data over the Internet.
  • HNSecure messages are encrypted, tamper proof and impossible to forge.
  • HNSecure is based on sound and recognized design principles and uses the highest current standards for information security systems. It is constantly reviewed for relevancy and currency.

Using HNSecure

To use HNSecure, health partners need to:

  • Ensure their application can send and receive healthnetBC messages;
  • Ensure HNClient is installed along with their application; and,
  • Become an authorized HNSecure user by registering their HNClient.


Using healthnetBC HL7 messages with HNSecure can greatly improve the business functions among health partners.

For example, a patient's PHN must be verified before they can be admitted to a hospital. PHNs exist in a Ministry database, but may not be directly accessible to the hospital's admitting (ADT) application. Someone must fax or phone or use another application resulting in costly delays. If the ADT system can incorporate the use of standard healthnetBC HL7 messages and HNSecure, any authorized hospital, regardless of their technical platform, can have immediate, secure and manageable access to the Ministry's crucial patient information.


The use of HNSecure is mandatory when transmitting healthnetBC HL7 messages to/from Ministry applications using the internet. HNSecure is strongly recommended when transmitting messages using SPAN/BC, the government's "private" network. The encryption technique is patented and therefore nominal licensing is required - and paid by the Ministry. The licensing restricts the use of HNSecure to healthnetBC messages.


Go to the HNSecure Toolkit Registration form to register for HNSecure and gain access to the documentation and the toolkit.

healthnetBC Interface (HNI) System Diagram