By: Jim Kane, Director, CIO Services
David McCament, Director, Healthcare/Payer Provider
Healthcare providers have an opportunity to take advantage of new, advanced technology in cloud computing. Given the heavy industry regulation, it is important for health professionals to determine if cloud computing can provide them a secure, reliable, scalable, and inexpensive computing platform that can be used to facilitate healthcare customers’ HIPAA-compliant applications and data. HIPAA, which protects the privacy and security of certain health information, is a national standard that all healthcare providers need to be compliant with to secure “protected health information” (PHI).
Some key steps to preparing your organization for the cloud include the following:
- Rationalizing, simplifying, standardizing and reducing your organization’s application portfolio
- Implementing virtualization technologies at all levels to create a portable environment ready for the cloud
- Developing a cloud computing strategy to help identify business value drivers, service impact, and service capability
- Creating a corporate risk profile for cloud computing adoption
- Deciding where to place healthcare applications and data taking into account characteristics such as business importance, data sensitivity, processing security, and regulatory constraints
- Develop business case and determine the transformational roadmap to being the process of moving healthcare data to the cloud
As the “Great Healthcare Debate” continues the acceptance of cloud computing solutions – even in privacy and security-focused industries – is gaining traction. If implemented properly, the cloud provides a computing platform that can be used to facilitate a growing healthcare customers’ HIPAA-compliant industry and healthcare applications. In my next post I will address how healthcare businesses subject to HIPAA should carefully select a service provider with the capabilities to address HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Audit as well as provide secure, scalable, low cost IT infrastructure.