Posted by Kalyani M. on Nov 15, 2013
While more and more companies are adopting cloud computing for its convenience and flexibility, the healthcare industry has been little slow in adopting this new trend. But gradually many hospitals and clinics are recognizing the benefits of cloud computing and embracing this technology to revolutionize their procedures. In the modern world of healthcare, it can be extremely challenging for the physicians to keep track of significant amount of information, from patient records to insurance information. With the traditional system, it can be burdensome to transfer physical files from one facility to another, wasting time and spending money on transportation and employee expenses. The cloud storage systems allow organizations to place data on a centralized electronic system that can be accessed anytime from anywhere. The healthcare industry has to deal with the massive amount of data, and cloud services help them to access and manage health records effectively in order to provide better patient care.
The cloud storage services provide lots of benefits to the healthcare industry. The healthcare data is doubling every year, what that means is the industry has to invest in hardware equipments, tweak databases and servers for storing large amount of data. With a properly implemented cloud storage system, hospitals can establish a network that can process tasks quickly without a drop in performance. Doctors no longer need to be tied to their offices to look up patient information. They can pull up medical records remotely to review patient records and tests. Cloud computing has proven cost effective for patients and healthcare providers, as the patients do not have to pay twice for the same test when they go to different doctors and medical offices do not have to pay for on-site hardware and storage services to maintain medical records. Lastly, the cloud services requires less technical support or maintenance compared to the traditional data storage systems.
However with all these benefits there are certain risks with using cloud services as well. As we all know disasters and security breaches can be damaging to every organization.But with health care it can be even more damaging because healthcare cloud security not only have to ensure that the sensitive patient information are protected but also to ensure the availability of critical medical data that can be the difference between life or death. Two security breaches at Oregon Health and Science University were reported recently.” In the two OHSU incidents, information on a total of more than 3,000 patients was inappropriately posted in unencrypted spreadsheets using cloud-based e-mail and document storage services from Google.” These data breaches expose a lot of personal information of the patients apart from medical records such as name, address and social security numbers.
The healthcare companies can take following steps to ensure that patient records are secure in the cloud:
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