Table of Contents
Cloud computing is a computer model which enables access to shared computing resources such as servers, networks, applications, services, and storage. Examples of cloud computing services in healthcare include EHR and EMR. For Decades, the industry of healthcare has been using local network in the traditional IT departments to exchange information. It used to take weeks or months to collect valuable data from the conventional systems. However, the emergence of cloud computing has created significant benefits in the healthcare industry. The paper analyzes cloud computing in healthcare industry. It also describes security concerns and the core privacy policies of cloud computing in healthcare.
Cloud computing increases healthcare performance and efficiency. Storage of healthcare information in a central location promotes the efficiency medical practitioners. When data of patients are kept in one cloud, caregivers can easily access and retrieve the data at their disposal in any location through an online portal which is secured. Professionals can virtually undertake their duties at any place, hence ensuring continued working without interference (Kuo, 2011). Further, cloud computing promotes the provision of proper and quality care to patients. It enables healthcare providers to collectively share relevant data concerning the health status of patients. It enhances faster response of practitioners during care provision hence an advantage to patients (Kuo, 2011). For example, the solutions of cloud computing can enable a nurse to check the medical history of a patient during an emergency; thus, the professional can quickly make a faster and accurate diagnosis for the patient. Cloud computing is also cost effective. The deployment of medical devices and IT technologies is expensive hence the use of cloud computing will consume less healthcare budget.
Therefore, with the increasing electronic transformation in healthcare, cloud computing has become relevant and essential. It is a vital business strategy because of the large quantity of healthcare data that it can possess. Cloud computing enhances effective decision making in hospitals.
Major Security Concerns and Privacy Policies
The security issues or concerns in cloud computing include trust, identity management, data protection, information availability, and software isolation. Healthcare organizations need to protect their collected information from unauthorized people or hackers. The security concerns have undermined holistic adoption of cloud computing by various healthcare organizations. Healthcare information requires effective safeguard and protection to avoid compromise, misuse or disclosure. Cloud computing may violate the privacy of patients and the organization through unrecognized or unwarranted access to data.
Data collection and storage using cloud computing requires state and federal policies or laws to ensure privacy and security patient information. The core privacy policies include HIPAA restrictions and service provider policy.
Service Provider Policy
The policy creates restrictions on service providers. The policy requires medical practitioners to maintain the security and privacy of personal data that patients have entrusted or delivered to them. An example of the policy is the 1996 Act of Health Insurance Profitability and Accountability, which restricts the activities of care givers (Sotto, Treacy, & McLellan, 2010). Healthcare providers should only share information of the patient and the hospital to relevant people who cannot taint or exploit both the organization and the patients.
The security and privacy policies of HIPAA enforce vital restrictions on protected health data. It prevents disclosure of health information to unrecognized third parties. The policy requires that covered hospitals must enter into an agreement with other entities before they disclose their information (Sotto, Treacy, & McLellan, 2010). Therefore, security and privacy policies ensure proper use and implementation of cloud computing in healthcare settings.
- Kuo, M. H. (2011). Opportunities and challenges of cloud computing to improve health care services. Journal of medical Internet research, 13(3), e67.
- Sotto, L. J., Treacy, B. C., & McLellan, M. L. (2010). Privacy and Data Security Risks in Cloud Computing. World Communications Regulation Report, 5(2), 38.