Upsurge in demand for HIPAA-compliant cloud services


The healthcare industry is rapidly embracing cloud computing and there is a corresponding demand for HIPAA-compliant cloud services. That is the view of Dr Peter Tippett, chief medical officer and vice president of the Verizon Innovations Incubator, which provides HIPAA compliant cloud computing and data storage.

“We’ve had a pretty large increase of activity and part of this is that in general, healthcare as an industry has not used a lot of cloud computing or other advancements that finance or retail or others have used,” he said. “In the past they probably didn’t know how to be HIPAA compliant and also use the cloud.”

His comments follow January’s HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule, which extended the HIPAA laws around data storage and processing beyond healthcare organizations to their business associates and their partners.

“The new rule has clearly got a lot of people worried, because it extends the problem out well past the hospital itself,” he said. “Now, even if you just store the data you clearly have to deal with the HIPAA rules.”

Verizon offers a popular solution in the form of its specially tailored data centers.

“We took two of our Verizon Terramark data centres and we documented and organized all the physical technical and operational controls and created a business associate agreement that we would sign with anybody who kept their data there or did their processing there,” he said.

HIPAA, cloud services, healthcare organizations, hospital