Healthcare Cloud Solution Checklist
by Dave Wilson on Apr 16, 2012
Ultimately there are certain minimum requirements that providers need to consider when evaluating a healthcare cloud provider. Without these considerations, providers will put their services at risk and fail to realize the full potential of cloud technology.
To overcome current perceptions of the risks associated with using the cloud for personal health information, cloud providers must demonstrate security measures that prevent unauthorized access to patient data. With security comes privacy. Consideration must be given to the following:
- Secure access to the facility
- Network security
- Data security
- Staff training and regulatory compliance awareness
Healthcare organizations are dealing with mission-critical applications where downtime can mean the difference between a patient’s life and death. Cloud providers need to be aware of and prepared for these stringent availability requirements and should be ready to guarantee delivery of information. Consider:
- Downtime for maintenance
- Responsiveness as data volume grows
- Network latency and redundancy
- Hardware redundancy
Standards-based Data Management
Healthcare is driving the development of standards throughout many different areas. The use of the following standards in managing data will future-proof the data to ensure access and migration of data will always be possible.
- XML metadata
- IHE framework
As new systems come online, the volume of data will grow, creating a need for the cloud provider to be able to scale up, out and deep. As the data volume grows, the impact on performance should also be negligible. Consider:
- Plug and play growth
- Dynamic scaling
Flexibility to access the data should be considered by healthcare organizations as they look to the cloud. Various aspects need to taken into account to ensure adequate services are provided to the users.
- Capacity of users
- Performance at peak access times
- Flexibility of mobile devices
As with any agreement, healthcare facilities should develop ironclad agreements that ensure the delivery of services will not be interrupted without penalty. Contracts should include items such as:
- Curing periods for breach of contract without interruption of service
- Insurance for breach of privacy
- Service level agreements
- Migration assistance
What’s on your checklist?