Cloud computing is best understood as software or service that can be accessed and utilized over an internet connection, and mobile apps where available. Cloud software is now in use across a wide spectrum of industries. Whether it be for security, productivity, cost-efficiency, or something else, the cloud has a lot to offer organizations, with little downside in return.
Running a hospital presents a variety of unique challenges. It is like many other businesses as it requires effective leadership and communication to run smoothly, but the extra factor is the importance of timeliness. All businesses require quick employee response, but this could not be truer for a healthcare facility. Patients and their health can be unpredictable. There should be a method of reaching healthcare professionals promptly while still protecting the sensitive information being transmitted.
Any business operating in Canada that sends commercial electronic messages must comply with Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). This legislation came into effect on July 1st, 2014, but has since included two further updates. Commercial electronic messages include transmissions such as email that promotes a product or service; a practice which many businesses use today to both communicate and market to current and potential customers.
Much like healthcare organizations, law firms are often home to hundreds of thousands of files, each containing sensitive personal and situational information. The loss of this information by user error or by a cyber attack can be devastating to clients who will have to endure yet another burden.
Hosting a website or service that adheres to HIPAA guidelines requires HIPAA compliant hosting. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) was signed into law in 2009 and increases the scope of protections for individuals while increasing penalties against healthcare providers that do not implement a proper system to manage electronic health records. Simply put, HIPAA compliant web hosting involves technological safeguards that include methods of protecting, storing, disseminating and sharing electronic information across multiple platforms, servers, and devices.
In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of health apps being developed and there is no indication that this will slow down anytime soon. Moreover, with the spread of HIPAA compliant home speaker devices like Alexa, it has become extremely important to understand when apps are subjected to HIPAA compliance.
In recent months, a large number of states have sought to improve their healthcare security in various ways. Each of the following amendments and laws that have been passed tackles a different aspect of personal information protection including PHI and other sensitive data. But the list below is not only limited to the laws themselves, rather it includes any precedents that may have a significant effect on how healthcare is dealt with in the future.
In June of 2018, California passed the Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), a law with similar rules to the European GDPR, which is set to be enforced on January 1 of 2020. However, on September 23, the California government approved an amendment (labelled SB 1121) to modify important areas of the act and to improve consumer privacy and security rights. The CCPA and the upcoming changes are not only expected to affect Californian organizations, but also ones that conduct business in the state, meaning that the U.S. market will most likely be affected. Below is a list of changes that are expected to occur as a result of the amendments:
It is often believed that HIPAA regulations are only restricted to healthcare related entities and their business associates (BA). While this may be the case legally, any organization can choose to implement HIPAA compliant strategies, something that can prove to be a great advantage for them in their business dealings.
The research company Gartner has made a prediction that $1 trillion typically used for IT spending will now be targeted towards cloud computing rather than conventional IT equipment. Companies are more commonly spending their budgets on software rather than physical equipment that performs the same duties. This industry shift in spending on the cloud indicates the increasing realization of its importance.