Public and Private Clouds – Health Information Exchange (HIE)

August 13, 2009

In healthcare, there has been hesitancy to consider cloud computing in spite of the promise of funding for electronic medical records and perhaps HIE.  The main issues in cloud computing and EMRs are security and availability. Security is governed by HIPAA including the upcoming regulations on data breaches. Security of EMRs and PHRs is also key in maintaining public trust in EMRs and by implication, medical practices. Availability is key as well as medical practices become dependent on real-time data from EMRs for medical decision making.

  • Can the cloud provide the security and availability/reliabity for EMRs?
  • Alternatively, are EMRs now becoming private clouds which can potentially interact with the public cloud, such as in the case of disease registries and public health initiatives?
  • Are Health Information Exchanges at type of private cloud or would it be helpful to redefine them as such?

Several recent articles give some insight into this issue:

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