Last month, a physician within IU's School of Medicine was the victim of theft when a laptop was stolen from his car. Thousands of other individuals proved to be victims when the school determined that the laptop contained the names, ages, diagnoses, medical record numbers and, even Social Security numbers for 3,192 individuals.
The school has shared that it is taking steps to prevent future situations by reminding staff to store all institutional information on a secure network or encrypted drive, but the current practices still leave room for similar issues.
The answer? Cloud computing.
Although most other industries have widely embraced it, cloud computing in health care -- which is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product -- has been slow to take hold. Concerns about patient information security and HiPAA-compliance requirements are common reasons cited by hospitals, medical laboratories, and educational institutions that say they are not ready for the cloud.
But today's cloud-based solutions -- especially health care Software as a Service (SaaS) that is tailored exclusively for this industry -- provide compliance, security, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use when it comes to information-sharing...not to mention the peace of mind that information will consistently and automatically be stored in the appropriate location.