Best Practices for Choosing a Cloud Provider in the Healthcare Sector
Best Practices for Choosing a Cloud Provider for an Elective Healthcare Practice
Although cloud computing is often regarded as a fairly new phenomenon, it has in fact been in use in one form or another since the late 1990s. However, its adoption by medical practices, including those in the elective healthcare sector, has been slow. By employing these best practices when choosing a cloud provider, you can make sure you’re getting an IT services firm that is the correct match for your organization.
Security Measures and Compliance
Core cloud-security measures should be in place that include encryption and identity-based access control. A reputable cloud provider can ensure all the items that external compliance auditors check for comply with legal regulations.
Knowledge of Your Industry
The cloud provider should have an in-depth knowledge of the healthcare industry and preferably of the sector within which your practice falls. It’s important that the cloud provider’s employees understand the particular needs of your practice.
Location of Your Data
Because your data is your responsibility, you should ask the following questions:
- Where are the cloud provider’s servers located?
- Will you and your staff be able to always access the data, no matter where you are?
- Does the cloud provider have a disaster recovery or business continuity plan in place in the case of natural disasters or major outages?
Certification and Training
A cloud provider’s staff must be experienced in your field, correctly trained and depending on your security requirements, may need to be certified in healthcare IT management so that they always comply with HIPAA requirements when undertaking any work items for your practice. While shopping around, you can ask if the staff have previously undergone background and drug checks and whether they understand the medical ethics and the law surrounding such issues.
Before you sign a service-level agreement (SLA) with a cloud provider, check that it contains definite response and resolution times so that you don’t find yourself unable to access your data if their systems are down or unable to reach any of their IT support technicians simply because it is after hours.
While full staffing may be limited to business operations hours, any reputable technology services provider will have on-call resources available to assist their clients during emergencies.
Additionally, feel free to ask questions in order to find out exactly what services your monthly subscription fee covers.
Cloud computing is part of the modern IT world, and when properly put to use, it can help make your healthcare practice run smoothly, efficiently, and dependably, thus allowing you to focus on providing your patients the best care possible.
However, it’s also extremely important that you assess potential cloud providers to ensure that they meet your business requirements and that they are able to comply with the legislation requirements which govern your practice.
Contact Bay Computing today for your free onsite evaluation and detailed information about the right customized cloud-computing options for your business.
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