To the Cloud or Not? That is the Question

If there is anything in healthcare that continues to make headlines, it is security breaches. With all of the protected health information (PHI) that is being faxed, scanned, routed, entered, and indexed in databases for review by clinicians there are many moving parts that need to be overseen by healthcare IT/quality/compliance personnel.

In healthcare the question remains, is the cloud vulnerable to these data breaches? At this time, there is much talk of healthcare having their PHI in the cloud though it is only a small percentage that have moved all their data to the cloud. When customers review Extract, this is a common question that comes up, knowing Extract will be handling from tens of thousands to millions of image files with patient data through our software solution. Even with our current clients, these institutions have not chosen to take next steps to migrate to the cloud.  That’s not to say that it is not coming, but it hasn’t yet.

Currently, Extract’s HealthyData software solution is implemented behind our customers’ firewall, giving IT confidence that they have control of their institution’s infrastructure to make sure all precautions are taken for the security of their data. With more and more vendors offering cloud-based solutions, Extract has allocated the resources to transition to the cloud, with the development included on our development road map. Until we see more momentum, we will continue to apply a percentage our development resources on moving towards the cloud and also on continually improving our document classification, redaction, and data extraction solutions with new features and enhancing our machine learning capabilities for our satisfied customers.

There are cloud alternatives and what healthcare organizations have to decide is if the time is right for them to send their PHI data and documents to the cloud.  As more competition begins to move into the data capture and document handling space, the question still remains, will the cloud offer more or less? You may have recently seen Amazon Web Services, Textract, marketing that they are Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) eligible, but really what does this mean to the consumer within these healthcare organizations? HIPAA eligible and HIPAA compliant remain meaningfully different. This means is that it is still up to the healthcare institution to properly implement a tool like this make sure the data is compliant.

Throughout our 20 years in business, Extract has processed billions of documents through our servers for government and healthcare institutions without any security breaches. Feel free to reach out to us to find out how Extract will keep your data from image files secure.

About the Author: Shane Dickson

Shane is the Regional Business Development Manager at Extract with more than 13 years of experience in the healthcare marketplace. His healthcare background includes managed care, regulatory guidelines, quality analytics, and EMR software solutions in a number of modalities. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from St. Norbert College while playing DIII collegiate hockey. Shane takes pride in listening to customers workflow issues to provide sound software solutions long-term.