Industry Series: Why Proper Data Centers Are Crucial for Healthcare

In the Information Age, data is the currency of a successful business. As our industries shift to technology-powered entities, data storage becomes increasingly critical.

Nowhere is this truer than in healthcare.

As a whole, the healthcare industry is responsible for the population’s most personal information. Between electronic health records (EHRs) detailing our medical history, disease research, sensitive test results, email correspondence and internal communications, safe and secure data storage is both crucial and demanded by government compliance initiatives like HIPAA and the HITECH Act.

At the same time, the Affordable Care Act is increasing the number of patients served and expanding the volume of EHRs.

To meet these demands, healthcare organizations of all sizes are turning to data centers to help them maintain patient privacy and remain compliant.

WHY IS COLOCATION SO CRUCIAL AMONG HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS?

When a Healthcare organization wants to build and operate its own data center, the process is intense. The list of criteria for where and how these facilities get built is lengthy. For starters, the site itself needs to be free from the threat of most natural disasters and situated within a safe distance of airports and rail lines to guard against chemical spills or accidents. The actual facility will require a redundant cable service with high-speed networking capabilities, inexpensive and reliable power, and cooling resources. All of which require significant capital spending to construct.

Once built, on campus data centers are costly, time consuming and not always practical for high volume practices or smaller hospitals. Often, the strict building codes and regulations make it difficult to justify the use of valuable real estate or the cost of owning, operating and maintaining something as critical as a data center.

A nearby off campus site like a colocation center, is often a better use of resources.

These models allow budget-conscious organizations to lease space in a HIPAA compliant and audited data center that has the necessary processing power, cooling, redundancy and physical security to ensure uninterrupted service. They are inherently flexible by allowing healthcare providers to use their own equipment and scale the amount of necessary space, up or down, depending on their needs.

In short, while healthcare networks have diverse needs when it comes to EHR and ePHI data storage, none are immune to the compliance standards set forth by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Could your organization benefit from working within a HIPAA Compliant and Audited Data Center? Contact us!

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