There is a lot of confusion and misinformation floating around about “The Cloud” – so we thought it would be a good idea to write a short BLOG about it and state the position of WellTrackONE with respect to “The Cloud.”
What is “The Cloud?”
Essentially, it’s a daisy-chain of servers spread out over multiple physical locations. These locations can be in New York, California, North Carolina, Idaho, Brazil, The Philippines, Germany, or any other location suitable for a secure data center. When you send your pictures that you took of Uncle Max to “The Cloud” your pictures are going into some server that makes up part of this daisy chain of servers. The servers may be connected by Ethernet cables or they might be connected by fiber optic cables. Regardless of how they are strung together, your pictures, or data are spread out over this daisy-chain of servers. The concept of “The Cloud” is that you don’t care where your data is…all you care about is that someone is managing it for you and taking care of all the hard layer management of servers, data centers, etc.
We don’t like “The Cloud”
The aforementioned explanation being said, we don’t like “The Cloud.” “The Cloud” is fine for photographs or music, but in our opinion, NOT for sensitive data. Call us old-fashioned, but when we store Protected Health Information, we want it in a server farm that WE can see and WE can manage and WE can protect. We do not trust “The Cloud” for PHI. There, we’ve said it. This will rankle some people who firmly believe “The Cloud” is great and wonderful and all that, but when it comes to PHI, we don’t take chances. WE DO NOT STORE PHI ON THE CLOUD, PERIOD.
Instead, we put PHI in TWO SECURE data centers that are professionally managed. Each data center is extremely secure in its own right with firewall protection, redundant power systems, and backup internet backbones. Why do we have our data in TWO data centers? For redundancy. When a patient record is altered, it’s first written to our primary data center and then immediately backed up in the second data center. If something were to happen in either data center, we have a fallback set of data. Additionally, our data is backed up each night to 5 internal locations that are also backed up. And we keep copies of our data for a year or more.
Why the fuss?
We are very experienced in the aspect of handling sensitive PHI and we know how important it is to protect it at all cost. So we use redundant, secure data centers instead of “The Cloud.” We sleep better at night knowing that the data is defended, protected and backed up where WE can see it.