To understand Private Cloud as a Service, let's first explain cloud computing and how a private cloud is configured.
The federal government is serious about protecting electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI). The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires compliance with its safeguards; in fact, violations of a single HIPAA regulation can result in significant fines, criminal or civil charges, and possible jail time.
Healthcare organizations that are considering moving to HIPAA compliant hosting storage in the cloud are faced with some weighty decisions. Public, private, or hybrid: the choice can seem daunting. Add to that several misconceptions about HIPAA compliant cloud hosting storage, and the right solution becomes obfuscated.
If you are searching for a HIPAA compliant hosting solution, here are the four most important reasons you need HIPAA compliant dedicated hosting to ensure the privacy and security of your electronic protected health information (ePHI).
The International Data Corporation, a global provider of IT market intelligence, estimates that the explosion of medical data will reach about 2.3 exabytes in 2020. Some experts anticipate this "data tsunami" will create a greater demand for affordable HIPAA compliant hosting solutions to store all this healthcare data. It’s important to find a legitimate HIPAA-compliant data center provider that offers private, hybrid, or public cloud solutions as well as traditional IT infrastructure for colocation solutions. Healthcare organizations need a HIPAA compliant hosting solution that meets or exceeds the administrative, physical, and technical safeguards in the HIPAA Security Rule.
Many data centers claim to be HIPAA compliant, but there is one way to separate the truly compliant from those who offer unproven claims. The key is to find a data center provider that has gone through a rigorous audit process.
Healthcare providers, healthcare plans, and health data clearing houses, along with all of their business associates, are federally regulated under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). If you deal with electronic protected health information (ePHI), you're considered a covered entity and must comply with the mandates and safeguards of HIPAA and the related HITECH. So you may have heard of HIPAA/HITECH compliant hosting a time or two.
If your organization has access to electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), you’re fully aware of the repercussions of not being in compliance with HIPAA regulations. That responsibility and accountability extends to the data center you use to store your ePHI and maintain your IT infrastructure. Whatever type of IT solution you choose—cloud, colocation, managed hosting, etc.—the same HIPAA data center compliance standards apply.
If you’re facing a HIPAA compliance audit by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), knowing that you have a fully compliant data center in your corner will help you face the three main requirements under review: Risk Management, Audit Controls standard, and Evaluation standard.
With the advent of breaches in the recent years and their large scale impact on patient privacy protections, regulated healthcare organizations turn to data encryption best practices to help protect electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI).