Monday, June 15, 2009
Will Cloud Computing Improve EHR Data Security?
As the government pushes for electronic health records (EHRs), many people remain concerned about data security. There have been many reports over the last year about stolen laptops and compromised patient data. Should such critical data reside on a portable machine like a laptop, tablet, or ultra-mobile PC?
Will cloud computing improve EHR data security? If sensitive data is never stored on a laptop, then if the laptop gets stolen, that patient information should be safe as long the person who stole the laptop isn't able to connect with to the health record database. I suppose that if a theif (or hacker) really wanted to get access ot the health record database, he (or she) would not necessarily need a stolen laptop (unless the laptop contains some critical security information, access codes, etc.).
So what's the solution? How can we ensure that electronic healthcare data is secure? Will all hospitals eventually rely on cloud computing? Is cloud computing the answer? Or, do many of the same risks and limitations apply? Maybe the answer is to focus on better data encryption.