Cloud computing comprises broadly of Public, Private and Hybrid clouds. Healthcare companies have been predominantly using private clouds in the past to adhere to prevalent data security norms. HIPAA and HITECH acts require that electronic protected health information (ePHI) be stored and processed in a secured manner and not shared to unauthorized personnel. A recent approach which has been building traction in the healthcare IT world is the implementation of a hybrid cloud, in which the data centers alone are managed in-house, while enabling reliable, secure and superior processing of data on the cloud. This reduces the risk of data breach and provides an added layer of security where it concerns ePHI.
Hybrid cloud is a composition of one private and one public cloud entity, formed in the following way:
- Company private cloud: ePHI information maintained within in-house data centers to ensure data security and prevent exposure to third-party vulnerabilities. Added security features should be implemented with the help of a service provider, in the form of data encryption, to safeguard data during transit and out of local data center processing.
- Public cloud provider: Applications involving processing of data like, data mining, analytics etc. which are CPU usage intensive can be migrated to the cloud to enable scalability as per need.
A hybrid cloud set-up as described above can be executed utilizing Windows Azure offered by Microsoft, implementing security measures and encrypted transfer of data with the help of a provider like Nalashaa. Microsoft is responsible for providing features to implement HIPAA compliance at the OS and storage level, but being compliant also requires application support and this can only achieved by architecting a solution ensuring data security and compliance. A provider adept in Azure services, with working knowledge will prove beneficial in building an agile, scalable solution to ensure performance and data security. Further ties to Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online can be made via Azure and these can similarly be delivered in a HIPAA compliant manner.
Nalashaa’s Azure experts with a wide range of experience can answer the many questions which might be on your mind when thinking of a shift to Azure. We understand your concerns and design a solution as specified by your needs, which helps to deliver the desired results.
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