Cloud Computing and How It Can Enhance Healthcare Regulatory Compliance

Cloud technologies, or the discipline of cloud computing, have revolutionized organizational workflows and processes. These technologies have completely changed the landscape and trajectory of how organizations manage different functions as well. More specifically, cloud computing can enhance healthcare regulatory compliance measures. Healthcare organizations, both small and large, must follow and comply with differing healthcare regulatory agencies’ practices and procedures.

OpsAnalitica for Healthcare is a platform that assists healthcare organizations in various departmental functions. Some of the key assistance areas are: the improvement to both patient safety and care, the automation of mundane tasks, and the maximization of labor efficiency. The aforementioned OpsAnalitica for Healthcare is maintained and operated via cloud technologies. We will delve further into just how impactful cloud computing is in the enhancement of healthcare regulatory compliance.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is defined as the delivery of different services through the Internet, which includes tools and applications like data storage, servers, databases, networking, and software. Information is stored and can be accessed remotely in the “cloud” or a space virtually.

In this arena of cloud computing, organizations can free up space and provide open access to files, programs, and processes needed for work functions. Cloud computing has three main types:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Software as a Service (Saas)

Different functionalities lie within each of the main types of cloud computing. In the Infrastructure as a Service type, access is provided to computers (virtually or on-premise hardware), and dedicated storage space. The Platform as a Service type allows for the deployment and management of your applications. Lastly, the Software as a Service is managed by a service provider and refers to end-user application usage such as email that is web-based. Collectively, the function of cloud computing provides a panorama of services for organizations like Healthcare.

Healthcare Regulatory Compliance and Cloud Computing

Healthcare regulatory compliance is a blanket term that covers several factors and realms within Healthcare. Organizations in Healthcare no matter how small must abide by different healthcare compliance standards. In essence, healthcare regulatory compliance refers to the process of abiding by all professional, ethical, and legal compliance standards found in Healthcare. Several different agencies regulate healthcare regulatory compliance efforts on both a national and local scale. However, four main agencies are highlighted for our purposes and most commonly utilized by healthcare organizations. These are:

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG)
  • Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
  • Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC)

Each aforementioned body just mentioned provides specialized standards that healthcare organizations must abide by. Cloud computing can enhance how an organization interacts with, and abides by, the differing healthcare regulatory standards process. The most often and commonly used cloud computing model is the SaaS (Software as a Service) in Healthcare. Its methodology and usage are web-based and are most often used for healthcare information technology functions.

Healthcare organizations have governing policies that relate to how health records are maintained, produced, and stored; how the health information exchange is utilized; and how medical practice management systems are operated. With such a problem of responsibility, cloud computing can provide seamless access and guidance on how to maintain these important regulatory functions.

A healthcare organization can readily access information that will allow them to remain compliant and keep this information stored securely. In order for cloud computing to be effective and safe, organizations must utilize HIPAA-Compliant Cloud Solutions. HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. This law also undergirds rules and regulations on how cloud computing is to be used in health organizations as well.

Cloud technologies can also be utilized in other healthcare business operations as it relates to compliance. Organizations must follow health and safety regulations in the maintenance and performance of sanitation logs, calibration logs, and fire safety protocols. Cloud technologies can be used to accommodate these efforts. Additionally, the workflow of for general readiness and cleanliness of patient rooms and areas can be operated using various facets of the cloud.

OpsAnalitica for Healthcare

OpsAnalitica for Healthcare is a company that helps health organizations maximize their labor efficiency and improve patient safety and patient care. The operations analytics platform provides various benefits, such as automation of routine tasks, regulatory compliance maintenance, elimination of redundant data entry, and real-time data on interactive dashboards. OpsAnalitica can provide cloud-based solutions to enhance healthcare regulatory compliance processes.

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