HIPAA Compliance and 3 More Reasons to Trust the Cloud
FEB 23, 2015 09:45 AM
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HIPAA Compliance and 3 More Reasons to Trust the Cloud
 
By Trevor James
 
Cloud ComputingIt takes a leap of faith to trust things you can’t see. Especially if those things are supposed to be protecting your business data.
 
Businesses in the healthcare field have to be cautious about data protection because of HIPAA laws and other privacy regulations that govern health information.
 
When you deal with sensitive health information, even a small security breach can lead to hefty HIPAA violation fines. In addition to penalties, HIPAA breaches can be a public relations disaster. Embarrassment to your company, distrustful clients, angry patients and the potential loss of new business can be very costly results. Large security breaches can lead to more serious legal consequences. 
 
It’s no wonder that a healthcare-related business owner would question the security of a cloud-based system. Storing your data off-site, “somewhere in the cloud” in a place you can’t see, just doesn’t sound safe.
 
Why the cloud is safe for HIPAA
 
Though it sounds risky, cloud-based computing is actually safer than on-site computing. The cloud basically involves software and services that run on the Internet instead of in your office’s server room.
 
As long as you have an Internet connection, you—and only you, or those you authorize—can access files, programs and information from any device. The flexibility of cloud computing brings many business benefits, the most important being secure access to your data at all times.
 
Business-class cloud solutions are HIPAA compliant. In fact, they provide higher levels of data security than most small-to-medium size businesses can afford.
 
Advanced networking and storage technology allow cloud solutions to better protect your business and your patients’ data. Cloud data centers are designed to deliver the highest levels of security and fault tolerance. These data centers or server farms are professionally managed and resistant to computer outages.
 
3 more reasons to trust the cloud
 
Besides HIPAA compliance, cloud solutions also provide three extra layers of data protection:
 
1. Automatic data backup
2. Automatic updates
3. A full-time security team
 
Businesses that rely on manual backups and manual software updates are vulnerable to data loss. In the time it takes to manually back up your data, you could lose power to your system or experience a hardware failure. This can cause files and other information to be lost or damaged. 
 
Manual backups and software updates are prone to human error. You might forget to perform the backup or update because you’re too busy running your business. Or, something comes up and you can’t wait for the process to complete successfully. Without a dedicated IT team to manage system backups and updates, your data is at risk.
 
With a cloud solution, automatic data backup and updates remove the risk. All hard drives, servers and hardware components in the data center are immediately backed up, so your business and patient data remain complete and up-to-date.
 
Also, backups are continually monitored by IT professionals so you never have to worry about a failed backup or the inability to restore your data. You always have access to a copy of your latest data in the cloud. 
 
Perhaps the best reason to trust a cloud solution is the full-time security team at the data center. They work round-the-clock to ensure your data stays protected from malware, hackers and other security threats.
Cloud-based dental practice management
 
Exposing or losing patient data can severely harm a dental practice. Cloud-based practice management systems offer affordable and secure  solutions to protect dental practice data.
 
For example, Dentrix Ascend from Henry Schein Practice Solutions uses cloud technology to minimize the risk of data loss. Software updates and backups occur automatically, and data is stored securely off-site. Dentists can be sure they’re using the latest, most secure version of the software. And Dentrix Ascend is, of course, HIPAA compliant.
 
When your business uses a cloud-based solution, you keep your data protected, remain compliant with HIPAA and enjoy all the other benefits cloud solutions offer. Cloud computing is a safe and proven solution, one you can have faith in.
 
Trevor James is the marketing manager for Dentrix Ascend, cloud-based dental practice management software, and Viive, dental practice software for the Mac.
 
 
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