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October 31, 2016
By 2017, healthcare organizations will be spending a whopping $5.4 billion per year on healthcare. Though they lead the way in terms of research and development on the medical front, healthcare organizations are typically slow to embrace new technologies for administration and support services.
Download our cloud report to learn how cloud service providers can make life easier for many healthcare organizations. For example, cloud service providers make it possible for healthcare facilities to improve their services to patients while also cutting costs and remaining within the stringent guidelines established by HIPAA and other industry and government regulations. Here’s what to look for as healthcare embraces cloud service providers in 2017.
Healthcare Targeted by Hackers
Instead of making the news for new medical breakthroughs and banner advancements in healthcare, hospitals and other medical organizations spent the majority of 2016 in the news for all the wrong reasons. Not only was it a record-breaking year in terms of the numbers of data breaches that targeted healthcare organizations, it was also a record year for the amount of damages these organizations had to pay out to victims whose information was stolen. One organization was forced to pay a whopping $5.55 million settlement, which was their penalty for a breach involving some 4 million patient records.
Hackers target medical records because this type of data contains more and richer information on the victims. Because it’s the kind of data that doesn’t change over time this type of information is extremely valuable to hackers who wish to sell the data on the black market. If a credit card number is stolen, the company can just cancel the account and issue a new number. People can’t change the information in their medical records, such as social security numbers and the full names of their parents.
Cloud service providers can assume the responsibility for securing patient records, shifting this burden off of healthcare providers. Then medical professionals can focus on caring for patients instead of warding off hackers.
Healthcare Under Increased Government Scrutiny
Along with fines and settlements, healthcare organizations are subject to stricter regulations than ever before. For example, the Obama administration made changes to HIPAA regulations, which are expected to result in even more fines and stricter guidelines.
Instead of having a full-time IT team working on making the changes required by these laws, cloud service providers can handle keeping data secure, encrypting data in transit, and assuring that backups and other necessary precautions are taken on a regular basis. This is much cheaper and more efficient than taking these tasks on in-house.
Healthcare Facing More Economic Woes
It is unclear what changes will be made to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and health insurance when the new presidential administration takes over early next year, but it is clear that healthcare organizations are challenged to keep the ink in the black. A cloud service provider can eliminate the huge costs associated with purchasing, maintaining, updating, and repairing IT equipment. Cloud services can also take over handling software, so that hospitals and other healthcare facilities aren’t facing costly audits for software licensing compliance. Cloud services help healthcare organizations cut costs without making any sacrifices in terms of the care they provide their patients.
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