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September 2018, Vol. 6, No.4

Why the healthcare BAA makes the cloud journey much tougher

When it comes to cloud computing and healthcare, there's the seemingly easy and there's the definitely hard. Those two extremes can be neatly summed up by the experience of David Endicott, CTO and senior vice president of Providence Health & Services, a healthcare provider with 50 hospitals and 829 clinics across five Western states. It wasn't a long-term struggle for Endicott to implement a cloud-first strategy -- opting for Microsoft 365 and a cloud-based ERP system -- but he had to proceed deliberately and with caution. After deciding to move the hospital system's complex data analytics process to the public cloud, "easy" went out the window, thanks to the healthcare business associate agreement (BAA). Three years have passed since Endicott started shifting genomics research, operational data and some de-identified patient data to the cloud -- and it's still a work in progress. Overcoming inertia That dichotomy is reflected in a 2017 survey from KLAS Research, which showed hospitals are eager and enthusiastic about the public...

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