Friday, October 18, 2013

The Cloud Saves Obamacare

Whatever the side of the Congressional aisle you are on (or maybe in the middle?), one of the more interesting aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is its emphasis on technology’s role in curbing healthcare costs.

As David Linthicum notes, “No matter where you sit on Obamacare, it’s going to change the processes in how organizations deliver healthcare.” But nowhere is cloud approached more cautiously than in the healthcare industry. Yet evidence suggests that cloud and healthcare are poised to push the industry forward into its next phase, while reducing costs. But with so much negative press recently on overall government and healthcare, might cloud be an agent of change?

There is a lot of concern among the organizations supporting this healthcare IT push around security, but especially with maintaining compliance. HIPAA compliance is still opaque, requiring a great deal of guidance for implementation. This becomes especially tricky as an organization begins creating business associate agreements among vendors.

The federal government is aware of the value of cloud computing -- the U.S. Department of Defense has identified concurrent steps that enable a phased implementation of the DoD Enterprise Cloud Environment:
• Foster adoption of cloud computing
• Optimize data center consolidation
• Establish the DoD enterprise cloud infrastructure
• Deliver cloud services
This plan describes a defined transformation strategy that takes the DoD from its current state, preps the department for cloud computing, then concludes when DoD information systems can finally take advantage of public and private cloud computing providers or technology.

Read more here.

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