Reducing Shadow IT in healthcare by embracing “good enough for HIPAA” business-friendly SaaS tools

I’ve said repeatedly that any cloud / SaaS vendor that wants to be taken seriously in healthcare must be willing to sign a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) and I was happy to hear that Box.com is now willing to do so. I’m quite pleased that we’re finally seeing some serious healthcare SaaS offerings from horizontal (non-healthcare-specific) vendors. Only when we move beyond healthcare-specific offerings will we be able to unshackle ourselves from the decades old legacy health IT vendors and that’s great news. While Box.com is only one vendor I think they will be the first of many general industry SaaS providers that will provide secure file sharing, mobile access, document management, and other important collaboration services that incumbent health IT vendors can now build on instead of having to reinvent the proverbial infrastructure wheel.

Last week the Box.com healthcare team invited me to participate in their “Secure Cloud Collaboration in Healthcare” webinar. The full event, audio, and screencast is available on their BrightTalk.com channel.

My point to the audience was that healthcare professionals are very resourceful and if IT doesn’t provide them the proper solutions they will not just wait for progress, they’ll take matters into their hands — creating a growing “Shadow IT” problem. In the webinar I talked about “Shadow IT” and how solutions like Box.com can reduce the problems of end users choosing consumer-grade cloud solutions that are not HIPAA compliant or secure enough for enterprise use.

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