Published on: April 6, 2015
By: Dr. Mohamed Ayad | Industry Specialist, U.S. Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft

In my role at Microsoft, I evangelize for adoption of Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud platform at healthcare organizations as a way to:

  • modernize communication, collaboration and productivity tools;
  • lower cost and complexity of managing IT; and
  • improve the reliability and availability of mission-critical applications.

Over the last four years, I have spoken to hundreds of healthcare organizations about their concerns with cloud adoption. In doing so, I found that it is imperative to demonstrate that the above can be accomplished without compromising on functionality, control, and most importantly, security, privacy and compliance with HIPAA/HITECH regulations.

Microsoft is no stranger to being a trusted data steward for healthcare, bringing the breadth of information and communication technology to healthcare as an enterprise grade, evergreen, flexible, scalable, cost-saving, secure and compliant utility. In fact, Microsoft was the first major cloud services provider to offer regulated entities an industry co-developed HIPAA Business Associate Agreement. This BAA, jointly developed by a consortium of academic medical centers, memorializes Microsoft’s compliance commitment to implementing the physical, technical and administrative safeguards and breach notification requirements set forth in HIPAA/HITECH.

Today, hundreds of organizations representing over 10M enterprise users have signed this BAA. These include small physician practices like Mihills Webb Medical, academic medical centers like Thomas Jefferson University, large multi-hospital health systems like Steward Health Care to state Health and Human Services departments like State of Texas. Most recently, in November 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services, the entity promulgating HIPAA, announced it will be moving 125,000 seats to Office 365, awarding Microsoft the FedRAMP authorization to operate.

The rest of this article can be read on Microsoft.com.