Companies in the healthcare industry face unique business and technology challenges, especially regarding IT Infrastructure, security and compliance. The process of moving from paper records to electronic health records (EHR) is no easy task, considering the regulations and requirements that govern how patient information is managed and shared.
The New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC, pronounced “Nice”) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare for all New Yorkers through health information technology, or health IT. Founded in 2006, the goal of NYeC is to provide all patients in the State of New York with access to secure, private electronic health records. Internap’s managed hosting solutions are helping NYeC successfully achieve this goal.
The challenges of health IT
In order to create a Health Information Exchange (HIE) that facilitates the exchange of patient data and information throughout the state, NYeC must comply with the privacy and security protections established by HIPAA and the HITECH Act. These regulations set the criteria for securing PHI (personal health info) as part of healthcare reform. To comply with this legislation, patient information can’t exist on shared infrastructure, which means that NYeC is required to use dedicated equipment, including firewalls, servers, storage and network appliances for their IT infrastructure.
With Internap’s managed hosting solution, NYeC can build out IT infrastructure that meets the compliance needs of healthcare reform. NYeC has the flexibility to generate HIPAA and HITECH reports directly from the platform, along with the ability to test, validate and lock the environment at any time. Using Agile Hosting for their engineering environment enables NYeC to provision new servers on an as-needed basis, without purchasing additional hardware and taking on long-term capital and operating expenses. Cloud solutions offer a high level of flexibility that allows for rapid deployment and efficient scalability to accommodate dynamic workloads.
Internap’s unique ability to deliver multiple infrastructure services in the same data center, along with options for colocation, dedicated private cloud, hybrid hosting, and disaster recovery provides a flexible, high performance infrastructure platform for NYeC.
“We’re building a statewide health information network for NY to facilitate the exchange of patient data and improve healthcare throughout the state,” said Anthony Lloyd, VP of Technical Operations for NYeC. “Internap is a business partner, and fundamentally critical to our success, and we partner with them because we believe they can deliver the technology and the support we need to get that done. I think we’ve done a great job at this point working well together.”
With a keen understanding of the IT requirements mandated by healthcare reform, NYeC is well-prepared to face the challenges presented by HIE systems. Today, their Patient Portal currently has more than 3 million users, and it will serve everyone in the state of New York when the project is finished – up to 20 million people.
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