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HIPAA Considerations In Cloud Computing

Sep 22nd 2015 at 4:04 AM

Cost saving potential associated with cloud services makes them a hot topic of discussion in the modern healthcare industry. Those wishing to use this platform will need to familiarize themselves with its technical aspects for optimal use. What is the best compliant structure going to be? Other considerations include risk addressing and appropriate agreement formulations. Compared to other digital storage arrangements around, cloud computing is not that different when one comes down to the basics. However, in the traditional method the control over the system is more compared to when it is out there, in the clouds. This naturally can increase the worry for the healthcare providers. Cloud environments tend to pool disparate resources together in virtual, common environment.

This is why such arrangements tend to be cost effective. Servers and other system resources that store provider information remain distributed across different physical locations. A cloud vendor controls these and makes them available on demand basis. For the industry, this signifies virtualization infrastructure. You will need to pay for only those resources that you are using on the cloud. Multi-tenancy arrangements come with their own security hassles. This is especially important in case of medical industry where the amount of private data is enormous.

Any breach in confidentiality between the service provider and the patient can lead to legal hassles with far reaching consequences. In order to ensure that you are choosing the best vendors around for complete peace of mind, certain considerations including the need for HIPAA compliance are as follows.

  • What is the particular vendor industry background? This is a worthwhile question to ask. Only those people having enough experience with health information protection or those who have dealt with regulatory information are ideal.
  • Level of encryption that you are going to get for protection of the critical health information is extremely important as well. In multi-tenancy situations, your vendor may not even offer the same. So when you want to comply with the most important HIPAA is impossible for you to ignore this aspect.
  • Your data should remain completely segregated from others in order to ensure complete protection. Hackers tend to target such multiple arrangements especially because of their inherent loopholes. So how does the prospective vendor segregate stored data in such multitenant environments? This is a worthwhile question to ask before making your choice.
  • Private cloud no doubt offers better security prospects. So those hospitals that want to ensure the best possible arrangement may consider this even if they are more expensive than the other scenario. Hybrid systems are also available nowadays that combine the best of private-public domains. Complete segregation between the sensitive and non-sensitive data is desirable.
  • What is a monitoring system in place to track your data and ensure its security? Basic monitoring involves access logs review. In certain cases, the clients may benefit from monitoring additional responsibilities in particular cases. You need to evaluate and understand the response breach plan.

Healthcare industry can get the best services from cloud providers by visiting the website

About The Author

Tony Rogers is an expert in modern computing and related services who likes to write many interesting articles and blogs, helping people to understand the nuances of the industry. He recommends as the best name to trust for the most reliable cloud computing services.

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