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Compliance Issues Top 2012 Healthcare IT Agenda

What could be worse for IT departments than grappling with the issues related to Y2K? Ask a U.S. healthcare provider within the context of its top IT priorities for 2012 and the response may be government-mandated compliance.

"I spoke with one security guy, and he said not only are some organizations late to the table in rolling out these electronic systems, but they haven’t done the valuations of what their security needs are," she says. "They don’t have someone designated to be responsible for where potential breaches could happen."

Interestingly, cloud computing does not rank high on healthcare providers’ IT wish lists. The report found almost half of respondents (43%) have no plans to leverage cloud computing.

That's in stark contrast to the rest of the public and private sectors, which seem to have gone cloud crazy, according to The Fifth Annual State of the Network Global Study by Network Instruments. The most popular method of cloud computing is software-as-a-service (SaaS), which is embraced by 67% of 163 IT professionals surveyed; followed by private cloud computing (49%); infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), or public cloud, (32%); and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) (15%).

"Putting patient information on a third-party or public cloud makes them very uneasy," says McGee. "Part of that might be a lack of control as to where these records are; some of it might be unfamiliarity with what cloud computing is exactly."

The Network Instruments study also noted a healthy dose of concern about the organizational risks. The study shows that top challenges to adoption of cloud computing include security, compliance issues, bandwidth capacity and a lack of interoperability with existing applications.

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