Organizations within the healthcare industry must take the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act into consideration whenever they deploy new technology, especially when it comees to cloud computing.
The cloud can provide an adopter with a more flexible IT infrastructure, while saving the company on upfront and maintenance costs. However, perceived security issues have given many organizations, especially those in the healthcare sector, something to think about.
"For HIPAA, data privacy is a key component. In order to maintain security, you need to know where your data resides, take precautions to preserve privacy, and employ mechanisms to audit access," a recent Healthcare IT News report stated.
Knowing exactly where data resides can be a difficult proposition in the cloud, since that's ultimately up to the vendor. The same can be said of data security measures. Should an issue arise on the vendor's end, the healthcare provider will still be responsible under HIPAA.
Still, compliance certainly isn't impossible in the cloud, according to the report.
"As with any evolving or new technological solution, it is critical for organizations to perform their due diligence so they fully understand not only the technology, but how it impacts their environment," Healthcare IT News stated.
According to a recent report from Becker's ASC Review, insiders are among the leading causes of healthcare data breaches. Whether intentional or not, improper or unauthorized access to patient information can be a serious problem for any provider.
To combat such instances, the news provider suggested that companies promote a well-rounded security program, with cultural considerations taken into account with data protection measures. Combined, they will help to better educate employees while strictly safeguarding personally identifiable information.