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Checklist for Securing Your Healthcare Data in the Cloud

23 Apr 2015 by Shay Moser

The future of point-of-care technologies requires the development of new services and capabilities paired with the proper infrastructure. More and more, the cloud is where healthcare organizations are storing Electronic Medical Records (EMR).

The cloud enables rapid innovation, collaboration, mobility and access like nothing else. One other major benefit of the cloud is it can offer greater security and compliance than storing data in-house.

According to a recent Dell Global Technology survey, 64% of healthcare respondents are “very confident” in the cloud’s security of data stored. However, moving to the cloud means trusting your company’s sensitive data to an outside party.

It’s not an easy step, and it shouldn’t be taken without a thorough checkup of the vendor’s approach to security and compliance within their solution. Before moving mass amounts of data to an outside cloud provider, make sure you are asking the right questions:

  1. Does the provider have industry-standard certifications that address security and compliance concerns within the healthcare industry?
  2. Does the provider segregate your environment, data and security audit ability?
  3. Does the provider have systems with built-in redundancies?
  4. Does the provider offer strong authentication and traceability for everyone who accesses data?
  5. How does the provider handle unauthorized access, data leakages and system outages?
  6. Does the contract clearly state that your organization alone owns the data — not the provider?
  7. What are the providers’ service level agreements (SLAs) for outages and downtimes, and what is their track record in meeting them?

Before moving data to a third-party vendor, weigh the pros and cons of cloud storage for your organization, complete background research on potential providers and ask prospective vendors all the necessary questions.

According to the Dell survey, 46% of healthcare organizations cite better allocation of IT resources as the biggest benefit of cloud computing. This was closely followed by 39% of respondents citing that cost savings was the No. 1 benefit.

Benefits of healthcare companies moving their data to the cloud are limitless. Organizations could see less strain on their IT staff, drastic increase in money saved and increased security of information.

Got more cloud questions or concerns? Contact us at 800-INSIGHT, or visit us before signing on the bottom line to secure your healthcare data in the cloud.

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