If HIPAA/HITECH compliance were a patient, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) would be its prescribed treatment, and the patient’s prognosis would be for a rapid and full recovery.
Healthcare organizations are facing what appears to be conflicting objectives: improve staff productivity and patient care through greater access to medical records while concurrently complying with strict patient privacy regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health act (HITECH). The tension between these two objectives will only grow greater as the preference for using personal devices such as tablets and smartphones increases among doctors, nurses and other staff members. In its 2015 Desktop Virtualization Trends in Healthcare Report, Imprivata summarizes both the illness and its cure:
“As healthcare continues its industry-wide transition from paper-based to electronic records, a successful end-user computing strategy—including desktop virtualization—gives care providers fast access to clinical applications and patient information at the point of care, which can significantly increase workflow efficiency and improve the patient experience.”
“Adoption of desktop virtualization technologies in healthcare increased substantially from 35 percent when Imprivata published its inaugural report in 2011 to 66 percent in 2015 (an 88 percent increase), with a forecast of 81 percent adoption over the next 24 months..”
Having trouble-free and secure access to clinical applications and patient information at the point of care has an immediate, positive impact on the quality of care and the patient experience. Convenient access enables doctors and nurses to spend less time looking for the information they need and more time caring for patients, while continuously having the most up-to-date information reduces the chances a mistake might be made delivering that care. Not only does VDI or the cloud desktop enhance both security and productivity, it also helps healthcare organizations achieve another important objective: cost containment. The price of systems continues to drop as the cost to support these systems continues to rise. VDI exploits the low cost of hardware (which is increasingly free to the organization with BYOD or Bring Your Own Device) and minimizes the support burden for the IT staff to yield a substantially lower total cost of ownership for secure and reliable anywhere, anytime, any device access to protected health information.
Download this white paper to learn more about how VDI can help secure devices that contain protected health information while providing greater access to patient information at the point of care.