This is reportedly the biggest concern in any organization looking to a cloud transition, even more so for healthcare providers handling sensitive, personal information. With conflicting opinions and a dizzying amount of information, it isn't hard become skeptical on cloud information security. Particularly for healthcare professionals, this is the first time facing the situation of putting sensitive patient records in someone else’s hands. This would understandably cause hesitation, and the term ‘cloud’ never evoked a sense of fortified security.
The migration of the healthcare industry to the cloud is a slow but steady journey. As dictated by the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act, otherwise known as HIPAA, compliancy standards are the strictest for cloud providers to accommodate. Signed into Congress in 1996, HIPAA isn't the only thing that stands in the way of this transition; people's own fears are keeping many physicians from transferring their practice to the cloud. However, nowadays, HIPAA and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as ARRA, is beginning to require everyone in healthcare to begin migrating patient records and other data to the cloud by 2015. It's estimated that, dependent on the scope of healthcare organizations, savings to the industry could amount to upward of $35 million over a 5 year period. But what else does this mean for the healthcare industry and their patients?