According to recent research, nearly one-third of health care sector decision-makers are already using cloud-based applications*, and according to CDW’s 2011 Cloud Computing Tracking Poll, a majority of health care organizations utilizing the cloud say it has reduced their IT costs by an average of 20 percent annually.
Last fall, the new HIPAA rules went into effect, and the four-tier violation schedule increased minimum and maximum fines. Any health care entity found to be in willful neglect of compliance may be subject to mandatory fines beginning at $10,000. Violations that are not corrected promptly are subject to mandatory minimum fines starting at $50,000 and capped at $1.5 million.
With HIPAA privacy and security regulations impacting every health care industry entity — providers, clearinghouses, insurers, health plans, e-prescription networks, business associates — a cloud-based disaster recovery plan is the faster, more reliable, more affordable solution for safeguarding a health care entity’s infrastructure.
Security has been an overarching theme in relation to cloud computing and health care. According to the Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society (HIMMS) 2013 Security Survey, just over half of health care groups have increased their security in the past year. Addressing security concerns in the maturing cloud market has been acknowledged as a driver of cloud growth.
But additionally, recent research (EMR Patient Impact Study, Aeffect & 88 Brand Partners, July 2013), has illustrated that Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) are also a key factor driving cloud growth for multiple reasons:
· Almost half of patients consider EMR access when choosing a health care provider
· 82% of patients using EMRs believe they receive better quality care
· Repeat tests and treatments are often due to incomplete paper-based records
· Nurses using EMRs have seen a 45% reduction in documentation time
· Adverse drug events can be avoided when using EMRs to track medical history and flag patients
· Paper charts cost $8 per year while EMRs cost $2 per year
In an effort to be best prepared for potential threats, HIPAA-compliant cloud hosting providers can help be the watchful eye for vulnerabilities, helping a health care entity prevent a worst case scenario.
The following infographic created by AIS Network , a provider of high-compliance secure cloud hosting illustrates how health care entities are moving to the cloud for their data and mission-critical applications.