|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Data analysis Information technologies Information systems|
Cloud computing is one of the most dominant technologies in the modern era. Instead of using actual data centres, clouds allow individuals or organizations to access computing power over the internet. Over the recent years, companies have been competing to move their data to the cloud (Iqbal &Colomo-Palacios, 2019). One of the advantages associated with this decision is that cloud data storage is a cost-effective solution since it minimizes the need for costly hardware resources (Iqbal &Colomo-Palacios, 2019). Also, cloud service providers ensure adequate client’s data protection using encryption mechanisms (Iqbal &Colomo-Palacios, 2019). Therefore, in addition to saving costs, cloud data storage is a secure solution. Chesapeake Regional Medical Center is one of the companies seeking to benefit from cloud data storage technology to improve the operations of the entire company and services to patients. While cloud data storage is a promising technology, it has its share of challenges.For example, customers have trust deficits about cloud security, and adaptability to the new technology requires additional resources (Iqbal &Colomo-Palacios, 2019). However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages substantially. Cloud data migration will be instrumental in the management of patient records in Chesapeake Regional Medical Center.
Chesapeake Regional Medical Center (CRMC) is an American healthcare company that offers a variety of services to the residents of North Carolina and southeast Virginia (Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, 2020). The company focuses on the provision of high quality, technologically advanced medical services to its customers (Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, 2020). In addition to the general provision of healthcare, CRMC offers services such as chemotherapy, neonatal intensive care, chronic renal dialysis, wound clinic, and other health programs (Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, 2020). CRMC aims to grow and serve a broader market. The company is shifting to cloud computing to help it achieve its goal and to facilitate the provision of emergency care. The move will help CRMC to manage patient records, and to enable them to communicate more efficiently to their doctors through text, audio, or clips (Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, 2020).
Cloud Data Migration
The cloud data migration process involves the transfer of services, local host applications, and information to distributed cloud computing infrastructures (Iqbal &Colomo-Palacios, 2019). Due to the large size of data involved, all the company’s data might not be moved into the cloud at once. Therefore, the process should occur in steps. The most crucial data to be transferred to the cloud are the electronic health records, which are used to track all aspects of a patient’s healthcare. The key challenges associated with cloud data migration are choosing the right provider, trust, and adaptability issues (Iqbal &Colomo-Palacios, 2019). Following the right strategy can help to mitigate these problems.
First, CRMC should choose a cloud provider that meets the company’s service and technology expectations. CRMC can obtain the necessary information for this decision by conducting extensive industry research, and comparing the experience and performance of various cloud providers. CRMC should also consider the data security offered by the cloud provider. Similarly, the company needs effective security policies before moving the data to eliminate the chances of security breaches. For example, CRMC should meet the availability, integrity, and confidentiality requirements, which ensures accuracy and access for only authorized personnel. During the migration process, CRMC’s IT department should regularly communicate with the provider for risk mitigation, status update, and timely decision-making. Communication will help to ensure that the two parties share the scope and goals of migration and finish the process within the expected timeline.
The next essential step in cloud data migration is reconfiguring the computing environment to function seamlessly in the new infrastructure. Consequently, CRMC should have reliable software to transfer data from the existing platform without damaging it. This outcome is achievable by duplicating the environment so that the cloud functions almost indistinguishably from the old system, to minimize errors and the risk of data loss. After the entire transfer process is complete, the data will be available in the cloud storage as well as in the physical devices within the organization. Therefore, CRMC might need to delete the duplicate files from the physical storage devices. However, this does not eliminate the need for backup. CRMC should keep a copy of each patient’s electronic health record for easy access in case the cloud infrastructure fails.
Following the above strategies, CRMC should choose reliable, established, cloud service providers like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS). The two platforms have flexible pricing plans, and they ensure reliable cloud security (Al-Sayyed et al., 2019). Moreover, Azure and AWS have an availability rate of at least 99.99 percent (Al-Sayyed et al., 2019). Therefore, their uptime is sufficient for the needs of CRMC. Finally, the two providers are available globally (Al-Sayyed et al., 2019). This will be instrumental in CRMC’s expansion to a broader market.
Privacy, confidentiality, and integrity are essential in the management of electronic health records. Therefore, access will be regulated for optimal security. Patients and their health practitioners will have access to the data stored in the cloud. However, each of the parties will only have exclusive access to the data on them. For example, patients will see their data, while health practitioners will only see and modify their patients’ information. The heads of various departments will have access to records of patients treated by their staff. Also, they can allow their partner institutions to view specific data at request for patient treatment. Consequently, the security will follow a hierarchical approach, whereby the patient is limited to their records. At the same time, other parties within the company have more privileges according to their organizational rank as per the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.
The strategies to create the Access Control Lists (ACLs) to match the above requirements will depend on the selected cloud provider. For example, AWS has attached ACLs for buckets and objects, which define and grant access. The head of CRMC will be the overall admin, with the right to access all patient files within the company. He/she will manage the privileges ACL privileges for the department leaders, who will, in turn, oversee the management and modification of patient folders by the care providers.
The migration of data to cloud services will help Chesapeake Regional Medical Center to manage patient records more efficiently. The process involves the transfer of services, local host applications, and information to distributed cloud computing infrastructures. The challenges associated with cloud data migration are choosing the right provider, trust, and adaptability issues. CRMC can mitigate these problems by conducting extensive industry research to choose a cloud provider with high security and availability rates. CRMC should have an effective strategy for duplicating the environment so that the cloud functions almost indistinguishably from the old system, to minimize errors and the risk of data loss. Also, the company should have a data backup plan. Following the above strategies, Microsoft Azure and AWS are two of the most reliable solutions. The access control will be structured in a hierarchical approach, such that the patients, healthcare providers, heads of departments, and the organization’s leader have specific levels of data access.
Al-Sayyed, R. M., Wadi’A, H., Bashiti, A. M., AlJarah, I., Obeid, N., & Al-Adwan, O. Y. (2019). An Investigation of Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services from Users’ Perspectives. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET), 14(10), 217-241.https://doi.org/10.3991/ijet.v14i10.9902
Chesapeake Regional Healthcare. (2020). About us. https://chesapeakeregional.com/about-us
Iqbal, A., &Colomo-Palacios, R. (2019). Key Opportunities and Challenges of Data Migration in Cloud: Results from a Multivocal Literature Review. Procedia Computer Science, 164, 48-55.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2019.12.153.
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