As medical advances in patient treatments emerge, healthcare IT needs to keep pace. IT solutions must deliver readily available and secure electronic medical data, such as Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS). Innovative treatment options, like Telemedicine, require reliable and robust IT infrastructures. And the overall IT environment must comply with stringent government regulations.Now more than ever, healthcare organizations require secure, reliable and compliant IT solutions to deliver quality patient care.A Safe and Secure Healthcare IT EnvironmentCompromised security can significantly interfere with healthcare’s ability to care for patients. Healthcare IT threats pop up everywhere. Computer viruses, hackers, human error and disgruntled employees can be a significant threat to mission critical applications and patient data. Therefore, rock-solid physical and network security becomes a top priority for all data center service providers.SAS 70 Type II audited processes ensure a provider’s operational procedures, security, and controls are working effectively to safeguard and protect your data and equipment. A safe and secure healthcare IT network contributes to quality patient care, enhanced productivity, increased mobile point of care access to information and reduced costs.
In addition, healthcare IT solutions require up to five levels of physical and electronic systems working 24/7 to protect your equipment. These systems include around-the-clock monitored closed circuit televisions, onsite support and security teams, biometrics security systems and/or military-grade key cards, and various alarms and sensors tied to fire and police departments.Reliable Healthcare IT Solutions with 100% Guaranteed UptimeWith life or death decisions at stake, downtime is not an option. Your medical and healthcare IT infrastructure must guarantee 100% availability. In addition to guaranteed uptime, service level agreement should cover key elements and service metrics like power, temperature and network availability.Healthcare IT solutions should eliminate any worry about your critical healthcare IT infrastructure experiencing issues or downtime. Redundancy and reliability built into data center operations, including critical power and cooling infrastructure, can ensure fast, easy access to patient information for your healthcare personnel.Healthcare providers must maintain uptime even in the event of a disaster. Data center solutions need to provide hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers with cost efficient disaster recovery facilities, systems and infrastructure. In addition, yourcritical data must be backed-up and safe.Finally, your healthcare business must adapt quickly to changing technologies, regulatory requirements and patient needs. Data center solutions must provide scalable infrastructures to easily address any changes in your operations.Meeting the Challenges of Regulatory ComplianceHealthcare providers are challenged with conforming to legislation and guidelines that govern the security and confidentiality of stored information. The Health Insurance and Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) mandate the safeguarding of Protected Health Information (PHI). Information breaches can result in millions of dollars of lost business, penalties and fines.IT shares the responsibility for HIPAA protection of all medical electronic records and patient information. With the recent HIPAA enforcement actions, it’s becoming increasingly important that health care IT operates in a secure, audited data center.The HIPAA Security Rule applies to all health plans, health care clearinghouses, and to any health care provider who transmits health information in electronic form. The following is a more specific list of who needs to be HIPAA compliant:
Covered health care providers (hospitals, clinics, regional health services, individual medical practitioners) that carry out transactions in electronic form
Health care clearinghouses
Health plans (including insurers, HMOs, Medicaid, Medicare prescription drug card sponsors, flexible spending accounts, public health authority, in addition to employers, schools or universities that collect, store or transmit PHI, or electronically protected health information, to enroll employees or students in health plans)
Their business associates (including private sector vendors and third-party administrators)
Many healthcare organizations struggle with IT issues related to security, reliability and compliance. They strive to ensure their IT infrastructure is able to support all of their healthcare applications. Your healthcare IT solution should combine extensive clinical best practice knowledge with innovation, business sense, technological expertise and a thorough knowledge of the healthcare industry to help optimize your patient services.