Posts Tagged ‘cloud computing’

Cavirin,cloud computing

Moving healthcare to the cloud: Managing security risks

Part 4 of 5 of “Moving Healthcare to the Cloud”

Written by: Anupam Sahai, Vice President, Product Management, Cavirin

In the last blog of our Moving Healthcare to the Cloud series, we discussed the key considerations for healthcare organizations that are defining a cloud migration project. In this blog, we examine the technologies to apply in order to assess, manage and reduce the risk of security attacks.

While the cloud is proving to be less risky, more secure and more innovative than traditional on-premises IT, it is still not foolproof nor without risk. Healthcare organizations need to take every precaution in the cloud to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

In many cases, data must be properly encrypted, with keys stored separately from where the data is stored in order to maintain confidentiality. The number of admins who have access to the keys to decrypt the data should also be limited and all access should be logged and verified. Data integrity can be ensured only if admins and users who have appropriate levels of authorization can modify, manipulate, or delete the data.

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Cavirin,cloud computing

Moving Healthcare to the Cloud: Defining the Project—The Who, What and Where

Anupam Sahai, Vice President, Product Management, Cavirin

Part 3 of 5 of “Moving Healthcare to the Cloud”

Written by: Anupam Sahai, Vice President, Product Management, Cavirin

In the last blog of our “Moving Healthcare to the Cloud” series, we discussed why it makes sense for healthcare organizations to move their IT infrastructures to the cloud. In this blog, we examine the process for defining cloud migration projects.

Although every step in the overall cloud migration process is critical, just how well you define the project at the start could very well set the stage to streamline success—or cause a lot of pain along the way.

At a high level, you first need to decide exactly what to move to the cloud:

  • Which business functions? This covers the entire spectrum of the healthcare organization—from patient medical services to billing, procurement, insurance claims, compliance, human resources, marketing, communications and physical security as well as the general operations of buildings and grounds. Business processes to which end users require anytime, anywhere access from multiple devices—as well as those processes through which end users collaborate frequently—will likely benefit the most from moving to a cloud environment.

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Cavirin,cloud computing,cybersecurity

Moving healthcare to the cloud: Why it makes sense

Anupam Sahai, Vice President, Product Management, Cavirin

Part 2 of 5 of “Moving Healthcare to the Cloud”

Written by: Anupam Sahai, Vice President, Product Management, Cavirin

As I presented in the opening message in part 1 of the “Moving Healthcare to the Cloud” blog series, healthcare IT is in a crisis. The good news is, help is available to address the issues healthcare organizations, and their third-party vendors face—and it comes in the form of cloud computing. From the perspective of enhancing patient services as well as internal and patient communications, the future of healthcare is definitely in the cloud.

Nemi George, the Senior Director of Information Security & IT Governance for Pacific Dental Services, provides one specific example: “A key area in which we see the cloud helping us is with our medical imaging,” says George. “Today, a local server is used to capture images and then synchronizes nightly to the data center. Using a cloud service for imaging significantly reduces the cost and the speed to retrieve image files while also allowing access across multiple platforms without the dependency on location.”

As your organization begins its journey to the cloud, the planning should first involve a close look at the top-level ROI. It’s important to know why it makes sense to move to the cloud.

“In line with our risk methodology and cloud strategy, we are comfortable moving applications to the cloud,” George says. “Our focus is on applications that require a high level of resilience and also general business apps that we seek to mobilize, such as Workday and Box, that offer a mobile experience without the dependency of a VPN.”

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Cavirin,cloud computing,Compliance,cybersecurity,HIMSS,HIPAA,security

The cloud can help solve the healthcare IT crisis… with a well-planned journey

Anupam Sahai, Vice President, Product Management, Cavirin

Part 1 of 5 of “Moving Healthcare to the Cloud”

Written by: Anupam Sahai, Vice President, Product Management, Cavirin

Time to perk your ears up! If you haven’t been paying attention, the healthcare industry, whether you’re ready to admit it or not, is in the midst of an IT crisis. With an ever-increasing influx of security threats looming, healthcare IT leaders, now more than ever, need to embrace the power of change to transform how doctors, nurses, staff and patients consume IT. This was just one of the key themes presented back in March at the HIMMS18 conference in Las Vegas.

Threats are coming in from several fronts. Here are a few reasons why many CIOs and CTOs are finding it hard to get a good night’s sleep:

The fallacy of thinking compliance = a strong security posture

Some organizations think that abiding by regulations such as HIPAA makes them safe, but this has been proven to be incorrect. Let’s take a real public example. In February 2015, Anthem disclosed that criminal hackers had broken into its servers and had potentially stolen more than 37.5 million records that contained personally identifiable information. 20 days later, Anthem raised the number to 78.8 million records. According to Anthem, the data breach extended into multiple brands that Anthem uses to market its healthcare plans, including Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Caremore, and UniCare. The security breach occurred even though Anthem was HIPAA compliant.

Vulnerable legacy equipment

For decades, manufacturers like Siemens, Bosch, Honeywell and others have built embedded systems that run on operating systems from the Stone Age—unpatched, insecure and vulnerable. An example of this includes Siemens medical scanners. Hackers can exploit trivial flaws in the network-connected devices to run arbitrary malicious code on the equipment. These remotely-accessible vulnerabilities lurked in all Siemens positron emission tomography and computed tomography scanners running Microsoft Windows 7.

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21st Century Cures Act,Ambra Health,Cancer Moonshot Initiative,cloud computing,interoperability,patient access

Interoperability and patient access just became law

Morris Panner, Chief Executive Officer, Ambra Health

When President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act (HR 34) into law in December, the world of healthcare IT was turned on its ear. Interoperability and access – two concepts that have eluded old-school healthcare IT vendors – became enshrined as the cornerstone of the newest and most comprehensive healthcare innovation legislation to date.

In addition, although the Act didn’t intend to push healthcare IT into the cloud age, it may very well have, as the required access and sharing will be exceedingly difficult to accomplish without an agile cloud-based system. Like the financial services industry and others before it, the cloud may become a key driver of how information can be easily shared and consumers can be empowered.

Some leading edge vendors and institutions were already making waves by breaking down data barriers both within and across facilities that have previously impeded the creation of a holistic patient health record. The holistic patient health record not only reduces risks of medical errors and dangers such as radiology overexposure, but it can also provides a goldmine for medical research across shared and readily accessible data.

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cloud computing,encryption,payment card information,PCI,personally identifiable information,PHI,PII,private health information,Revation Systems

Security in the cloud: Why it’s different and why defining encryption matters

Perry Price, President, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Revation Systems

Easy. Accessible. And always on. These attributes describe a large part of the appeal of the immediate information-sharing made possible by cloud-based digital communications solutions of the 21st century. Ubiquitous in the retail sector, these cloud-based solutions – initially shunned by highly regulated industries such as finance and healthcare – are now being embraced by those very industries as they seek to provide customers with the simple, affordable and convenient solutions they have come to expect – and now demand – in other areas of their lives.

But today’s always-immediately-accessible digital information has also given rise to the flip side of the coin: if information is readily available anytime, anywhere, how do organizations ensure that that same information is not readily available to anyone?

Hardly a day goes by without a report of a data or security breach. And it’s no wonder that the same organizations – and customers – who benefit from easy access to cloud-based digital information also worry about whether the personal information that is shared will remain secure.

With new cloud-based digital solutions popping up all over the place, many healthcare organizations are looking to the cloud to ensure a higher level of security. But does the cloud guarantee that? How is securing information that is stored in the cloud different from securing more traditionally housed information? And how do organizations ensure they choose a vendor solution that provides the highest cloud-based security standards possible?

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cloud computing,Engage,INHS,Inland Northwest Health Services,Meditech,NetApp AltaVault,PBBAs,purpose built backup appliances

Why hospitals should consider off-site backup to cloud services

image001-3

Sean Harnett, Assistant Director of Network Services, INHS/Engage

With each day that passes, hospitals are finding it increasingly difficult to manage and protect burgeoning amounts of patient data. Sophisticated healthcare applications, data-intensive technologies, new IoT sensors, increased use of medical imaging, and mobile devices are generating more patient data that ever before. This, combined with stringent regulations mandating secure, long-term records retention and limited budgets makes it harder than ever for mid-sized hospitals to manage and contain cost, which unfortunately is often reflected in quality of patient care.

Faced with ever increasing amounts of data, hospitals that have traditionally relied on traditional tape-based backup now find themselves watching time and cost associate with the creation, management, transportation and storage skyrocket. Many IT decision-makers find themselves considering purpose built backup appliances (PBBAs) but quickly find this means purchasing expensive, redundant boxes with limited scalability outside of sizing up to the next appliance. Software ties across hardware lines also means that vendor lock-in limits future choice, a difficult consideration for forward-thinking IT managers who understand the value inherent in the freedom of choice.

These industry challenges, as well as increased layers of complexity and expense are forcing hospital administrators to literally think outside of the box.  Just as a pearl is created by pressure, a new generation of hospitals is emerging as a result of increased pressure to skillfully move, manage and protect data. These new hospitals will gracefully navigate through their ever growing data lakes, analyzing trends in patient outcomes, offering single patient records that can be updated in real time and increasing collaboration with the larger medical community.

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cloud computing,Infrastructure and operations,Insight Enterprises,Microsoft Dynamics CRM

The state of the cloud in healthcare

Jessica Hall - Headshot

Jessica Hall, a writer for Insight Enterprises

In comparison to other industries, companies in the healthcare sector often underutilize cloud technology, which can make them more nimble, secure and cost-effective. Infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals will agree that cloud computing not only transforms and modernizes a company’s approach, but it’s also the perfect solution to three common problems in the industry.

The reliance on paper records is burdensome.

While many healthcare organizations continue to rely on physical copies of medical records, digital copies hosted in the cloud can solve the myriad problems that the traditional model presents. One of the biggest problems related to the reliance on paper is that information is susceptible to destruction. If a fire devastates your building or a paper record is lost, they can’t be recovered easily.

In the cloud, your data will typically go through multiple back-ups on a number of servers, allowing you to retrieve information effortlessly. Additionally, you’re safeguarded against service disruption if you select a provider who distributes your digital assets among numerous data centers, ensuring events that impact one part of the globe won’t affect your company.

Pacific Heights Plastic Surgery uses cloud-based tools to document critical information related to patient procedures. With drop-down menus instead of a pen and paper, they’re able to record information faster, leading to a better and less time-consuming patient evaluation.

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CareCloud,cloud computing,cloud migration

Practices turn to cloud-based partners to manage industry changes

Ken Comee - Norwest Venture Partners

Ken Comée, Chief Executive Officer, CareCloud

Practice leaders and healthcare IT professionals are migrating to cloud solutions in search of new ways to navigate an increasingly complex business and regulatory environment. The changing industry landscape requires providers to adapt quickly to new factors like growing patient cost obligations and rising payer complexity.

Technology, particularly cloud-based solutions, can help practices remain agile in a changing environment, which explains the rapid movement to the cloud, both in the private and public sectors. Last year, the federal government’s cloud-first strategy began to accelerate, with an FCW analyst predicting more rapid cloud adoption over the next three to five years.

In addition to a desire for agility, there are several other issues currently driving cloud adoption, including the following factors:

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cloud computing,Elixir Technologies,Harvard Business Review Analytic Services,HBRAS,SaaS,software-as-a-service

Enhancing the healthcare enterprise with cloud technology

Sohail Malik_Elixir Technolgoies_New

Sohail Malik, Business Product Manager, Healthcare Vertical, Elixir Technologies

There is no question that the cloud has made solid inroads in enterprise environments, including healthcare. New research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services (HBRAS) indicates that cloud usage in the enterprise continues to rise. The research found 84 percent of respondents reported their organization’s use of cloud computing had increased in the past year.

Moreover, the report found that enterprises are definitely seeing tangible customer benefits, improved collaboration, and bottom-line growth as a result of deploying cloud applications. Of the respondents, 72 percent said their use of the cloud increased collaboration options, 71 percent reported business agility had been improved and 40 percent indicated the cloud has enhanced revenue. According to the HBRAS researchers’ conclusions, adopting cloud technologies has gone from being a competitive advantage for early adopters to being a competitive disadvantage for those companies who are hesitant to do so.

While lingering hesitancy to adopt cloud solutions in the enterprise may be rooted in the historical experience of IT organizations that are more familiar with the implementation of on-premise software solutions, serious consideration should be given to three major benefits noted in the HBRAS research that cloud-based solutions can deliver to the organization: agility, scalability and total cost of ownership.

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