Achieving HIPAA compliance in today’s evolving technology and regulatory landscape is an ongoing trial for healthcare organizations. Emerging new technology delivery models present a diverse range of challenges in meeting strict compliance regulations. At the same time, these organizations are forced to pursue technology innovation to streamline productivity and quality healthcare. The use of Electronic Healthcare Records (EHS) and other e-health initiatives have enabled the use of mobile and portable computing technologies to access healthcare information on the go. This capability has also raised new security challenges that lead to non-compliance. For instance, storing sensitive patient information in vulnerable devices allows cyber criminals to compromise the data with minimal efforts, and is widely seen as a compliance malpractice by auditors.
Solution: Desktop as a Service
As a solution for easy and secure access to personally identifiable healthcare data, the cloud industry has transformed the decade old technology of virtualized desktops into the present-day offering of Desktop as a Service (DaaS) or cloud desktop. The cloud technology provides an interface for the end users to access and use the healthcare data, which is only stored at a secure backend network. The data is therefore protected from cyber attacks against vulnerable endpoint devices. The technology limits compliance demands on end-user devices, which can now be used to access healthcare data with minimal security provisions, processing power and memory.
Desktop as a Service Delivers Simplification and Improved Efficiency
Desktop as a Service technologies simplify device management and compliance to a point where the entire enterprise LAN and physical network endpoints fall beyond the scope of the audit for HIPAA and HITECH compliance. The protected health information never leaves the data center and the organization achieves enhanced security controls for all data stored in backend servers. Strong authentication and access controls further improve security capabilities to improve compliance with HIPAA and HITECH regulations.
The simplified regulatory compliance and improved staff productivity is achieved at a lower operating cost in comparison with traditional alternatives to cloud desktops that require ongoing investments in new hardware, software and security capabilities. Cloud desktops also reduce the burden on internal IT staff as the service is managed by the cloud vendor.
Consumerization of IT in the healthcare industry vertical has placed added pressure on healthcare organizations to support the use of mobile technologies tablets and laptops to access the information while maintaining HIPAA compliance. Cloud desktops not only eliminate a number of security and compliance challenges for healthcare organizations embracing these technology trends, but also yield improvements in workforce productivity, efficiency and profitability.