Healthcare providers express excitement for cloud computing

April 30, 2012

Cloud computing has been a huge factor in the medical IT industry, as statutes like the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as well as later additions like meaningful use, necessitate advanced technology. Healthcare providers, especially hospitals, are now required to make patient information secure and available to any parties who might need it.

Science Daily recently published an article explaining that the cloud is boasting benefits for the sharing of medical images. Because the cloud allows authorized users from any geographic location to access data stored on virtual servers, the benefits regarding HIPAA compliance, and its later companion the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, are obvious.

The news provider explains that hospitals and other healthcare providers using the cloud for operations have already seen efficiency gains and celebrate the viability of the technology within their industry. The Mount Sinai Medical Center and four other similar institutions combined efforts to create the Radiological Society of North America project.

According to the source, results showed a preference for cloud technology over older systems among many patients.

"This is the next revolution in digital imaging," David Mendelson, MD, FACR, Chief of Clinical Informatics at The Mount Sinai Medical Center and Chief Clinical Investigator for RSNA Image Share, told the source. "It gives the patient ownership over their records and makes the information more accessible to physicians. Plus it decreases unnecessary radiation exposure that can be caused by physicians ordering duplicate examinations due to records not being easily available."

With patient data, safety and discretion are always at the forefront of the discussion. Proper and adequate cloud security software and policies are imperative in any health provider's deployment of the technology. The American Medical Association explains that monetary and judicial consequences of violating the privacy statutes within HIPAA have the potential to be devastating.

-McAfee Cloud Security