|By Mat Rider||
|July 25, 2014 06:00 AM EDT||
Walk into your doctor’s office and you’ll likely witness the trappings of those last holdouts of the digital revolution. As you enter, you will be dazzled by the patchwork curtain of color-coded manila folders behind the reception desk, each one plump with personal data, most of it outdated but all of it exposed to potential neglect, error or abuse.
You’ll see a jar on the reception counter, brimming with ballpoint pens topped with plastic daisies. Pick one. You’ll need it for the next phase of your journey into the bureaucratic wilderness known as the healthcare system, where the tendrils of redundancy and inefficiency are strangling the quality of the relationship between physician and patient.
In 2014, when a visit to our trusted medical professional has to start off with a cold interaction with a 1940’s style clipboard, we know that healthcare is a prime candidate for a major update. Physicians and their patients cannot tolerate the status quo. In an era of consumerism and technological empowerment, the shift to a more service-oriented model is inevitable.
In fact, it may already be here.
Fortunately, the regulatory regime in the US anticipated the coming storm of consumer empowerment and technological change. Back in 1996, Congress gave the nod to healthcare consumers (that’s us) with the passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. The idea was to give patients more power to manage, correct and assign their health records – at least as much power as a mobile phone subscriber has in keeping his cell number—and to impose greater responsibility on those who hold protected health information—or PHI, an industry term -- to keep it secure and accurate.
HIPAA was a great start. But then, as they say, the Internet changed everything.
In the 13 years that followed, online transactions took root and blossomed. Personal Health Information was no longer limited to paper records tucked comfortably inside those manila folders; PHI had become data, moving within and between computer systems and subject to a whole new list of perils.
So in 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was signed into law to promote the adoption and “meaningful use” of health information technology. Subtitle D of the HITECH Act specifically addresses the privacy and security concerns that arise with the electronic transmission of health information. HITECH also imposed greater responsibility on “Business Associates” (BA) – consultants and vendors of covered entities who touch health data in the course of providing their services—to adopt safeguards to keep PHI secure and available. This requirement was codified in the 2013 HIPAA Omnibus Rule adopted last year. This final reconciliation of the two laws notably imposed requirements for BAs to enter written agreements to protect health data.
If you have customers in the healthcare space, you’ll need to have a handle on HIPAA and HITECH requirements for treating and accessing PHI. Standardized versions of the required BA agreement have been circulating for a while now; know what you are agreeing to before you sign. Is your data security up to snuff? Are you able to provide access and updates to personal health data if required?
The scene is set for a sea-change in the way consumers interact with the healthcare system. We’re still waiting for the day when we can breeze into our physician’s office without the fear of contracting writer’s cramp. But change is definitely in the air.
If you are interested in learning about how DocuSign customers comply with HIPAA and HITECH, download our FAQ here.
Just don’t file it in a manila folder.
For digital solutions for the healthcare industry, click here for more information and opportunities.
About the Author:
Ken Moyle is Chief Policy Officer at DocuSign. Click here to connect with him on Twitter.
When you decide to launch a startup company, business advisors, counselors, bankers and armchair know-it-alls will tell you that the first thing you need to do is get funding. While there is some validity to that boilerplate piece of wisdom, the availability of and need for startup funding has gone through a dramatic transformation over the past decade, and the next few years will see even more of a shift. A perfect storm of events is causing this seismic shift. On the macroeconomic side this ...
Apr. 27, 2017 11:34 AM EDT Reads: 194
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing be...
Apr. 27, 2017 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 645
Back in February of 2017, Andrew Clay Schafer of Pivotal tweeted the following: “seriously tho, the whole software industry is stuck on deployment when we desperately need architecture and telemetry.” Intrigue in a 140 characters. For me, I hear Andrew saying, “we’re jumping to step 5 before we’ve successfully completed steps 1-4.”
Apr. 27, 2017 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,824
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
Apr. 27, 2017 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,330
To more closely examine the variety of ways in which IT departments around the world are integrating cloud services, and the effect hybrid IT has had on their organizations and IT job roles, SolarWinds recently released the SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2017: Portrait of a Hybrid Organization. This annual study consists of survey-based research that explores significant trends, developments, and movements related to and directly affecting IT and IT professionals.
Apr. 27, 2017 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,729
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Apr. 27, 2017 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 6,005
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
Apr. 27, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 9,212
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of DevOps Product and Solutions Marketing at CA Technologies, has been named co-conference chair of DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Apr. 26, 2017 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,611
Is your application too difficult to manage? Do changes take dozens of developers hundreds of hours to execute, and frequently result in downtime across all your site’s functions? It sounds like you have a monolith! A monolith is one of the three main software architectures that define most applications. Whether you’ve intentionally set out to create a monolith or not, it’s worth at least weighing the pros and cons of the different architectural approaches and deciding which one makes the most s...
Apr. 26, 2017 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,813
Developers want to create better apps faster. Static clouds are giving way to scalable systems, with dynamic resource allocation and application monitoring. You won't hear that chant from users on any picket line, but helping developers to create better apps faster is the mission of Lee Atchison, principal cloud architect and advocate at New Relic Inc., based in San Francisco. His singular job is to understand and drive the industry in the areas of cloud architecture, microservices, scalability ...
Apr. 26, 2017 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,562
This recent research on cloud computing from the Register delves a little deeper than many of the "We're all adopting cloud!" surveys we've seen. They found that meaningful cloud adoption and the idea of the cloud-first enterprise are still not reality for many businesses. The Register's stats also show a more gradual cloud deployment trend over the past five years, not any sort of explosion. One important takeaway is that coherence across internal and external clouds is essential for IT right n...
Apr. 26, 2017 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,730
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Apr. 25, 2017 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 7,262
In large enterprises, environment provisioning and server provisioning account for a significant portion of the operations team's time. This often leaves users frustrated while they wait for these services. For instance, server provisioning can take several days and sometimes even weeks. At the same time, digital transformation means the need for server and environment provisioning is constantly growing. Organizations are adopting agile methodologies and software teams are increasing the speed ...
Apr. 25, 2017 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,386
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, will discuss how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He will discuss how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
Apr. 25, 2017 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,350
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Apr. 25, 2017 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 8,924
Software as a service (SaaS), one of the earliest and most successful cloud services, has reached mainstream status. According to Cisco, by 2019 more than four-fifths (83 percent) of all data center traffic will be based in the cloud, up from 65 percent today. The majority of this traffic will be applications. Businesses of all sizes are adopting a variety of SaaS-based services – everything from collaboration tools to mission-critical commerce-oriented applications. The rise in SaaS usage has m...
Apr. 22, 2017 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 4,886
The proper isolation of resources is essential for multi-tenant environments. The traditional approach to isolate resources is, however, rather heavyweight. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Igor Drobiazko, co-founder of elastic.io, drew upon his own experience with operating a Docker container-based infrastructure on a large scale and present a lightweight solution for resource isolation using microservices. He also discussed the implementation of microservices in data and application integrat...
Apr. 22, 2017 05:45 AM EDT Reads: 6,266
We'd all like to fulfill that "find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life" cliché. But in reality, every job (even if it's our dream job) comes with its downsides. For you, the constant fight against shadow IT might get on your last nerves. For your developer coworkers, infrastructure management is the roadblock that stands in the way of focusing on coding. As you watch more and more applications and processes move to the cloud, technology is coming to developers' rescue-most r...
Apr. 22, 2017 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,137
2016 has been an amazing year for Docker and the container industry. We had 3 major releases of Docker engine this year , and tremendous increase in usage. The community has been following along and contributing amazing Docker resources to help you learn and get hands-on experience. Here’s some of the top read and viewed content for the year. Of course releases are always really popular, particularly when they fit requests we had from the community.
Apr. 22, 2017 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,618
Even for the most seasoned IT pros, the cloud is complicated. It can be difficult just to wrap your head around the many terms and acronyms that make up the cloud dictionary-not to mention actually mastering the technology. Unfortunately, complicated cloud terms are often combined to the point that their meanings are lost in a sea of conflicting opinions. Two terms that are used interchangeably (but shouldn't be) are hybrid cloud and multicloud. If you want to be the cloud expert your company ne...
Apr. 21, 2017 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,272