When it comes to managing, storing, and securing health-related files, cloud computing can be a critical component for a healthcare organization. If done right, the cloud guarantees the safety and accessibility of any health-related information that it stores. As a result, files stored in the cloud are obtainable anywhere from any device and at any time. This is why so many healthcare organizations have embraced it for sharing critical medical information with their employees.

However, can the cloud ultimately manage, access, and transfer sensitive personal and medical information securely? As a matter of fact, ensuring that patients’ medical information remains undisclosed is not just part of the ethical standard that health employees must uphold, it’s a principle that must be applied to healthcare backups. Otherwise, organizations put themselves in a position to be prosecuted.

That’s why hospitals and healthcare organizations need to ensure that all records are secure. HIPAA compliance is a major deciding factor for this security.

What is HIPAA?

It’s a body of rules that outlines disclosures and allowable uses of patent medical records. Enshrined in it is the information guiding when, how, and who may have access to medical information. It also sets the standard for patient health information history access from unauthorized people. As such, care must be taken when implementing cloud within healthcare.

Below are a few considerations when using HIPAA Compliant cloud services: 

  • A HIPAA cloud support system must render single sign-on or two-step authentication and ePHI encryption transfer
  • Non-HIPAA compliant services don’t offer a BAA covered for entities. Some Cloud Services like iCloud and Apple fall into this category
  • Cloud services do not provide essential integrated security services, e.g., data classification, which is why ePHI storage can’t be done through the cloud

Cloud computing providers that support HIPAA compliance include Box Enterprise and Elite, G Suite, Google Drive, Dropbox Business, Microsoft OneDrive, and E5. However, not all cloud services from these providers are HIPAA compliant. For example, AWS released a white paper titled Architecting for HIPAA Security and Compliance on Amazon Web Services that goes into detail about specific services that are HIPAA compliant. This white paper also detailed how to leverage different Amazon resources to build a HIPAA-compliant architecture.

The Bottom Line / TLDR

Using a cloud computing service provider is essential but special consideration must be made to whether or not it guarantees HIPAA compliance. That means every digital service that you’re using on the cloud must be fully vetted to meet HIPAA compliance. Work with a cloud partner like us to help you navigate the challenges of implementing HIPAA compliance for your tech architecture.

Share this post:

More Common Sense Blog Articles

Enjoying this article? Check out some more topics from our blog on digital common sense.