HealthBlog

Thoughts, comments, news, and reflections about healthcare IT from Microsoft's worldwide health senior director Bill Crounse, MD, on how information technology can improve healthcare delivery and services around the world.

Leading universities, medical schools select Microsoft Office 365 to keep data protected, safe and secure

Leading universities, medical schools select Microsoft Office 365 to keep data protected, safe and secure

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WP_000288After a very long day of flying, I arrived home unscathed from last week’s trip to Puerto Rico.  Although my visit was strictly business, at the encouragement of my Microsoft colleagues, I did take time to walk the city of Old San Juan just prior to giving my keynote at the Puerto Rico Hospital Association’s 2012 annual convention in Miramar.  I WP_000298particularly enjoyed visiting Castillo San Cristóbal, a fortification started in the early 1500’s to protect the city from attack by land or sea. Over a period of 150 years, Castillo San Cristóbal became the biggest European fortification in the Americas. With its elaborate system of firing batteries, dry moats, casemates, tunnels, ramps, and bastions the troops and citizens within its walls remained protected, safe and secure.

Speaking of protected, safe and secure……. These days, many universities and medical schools are seeking to consolidate resources and save money on their infrastructure and email storage by moving it to the cloud. But they must also balance the benefits of cloud computing with assurances on how their data is secured and accessed from the cloud.

imageI arrived home to some very good news. Five of America’s top universities and medical schools have selected Microsoft Office 365 to improve communication and collaboration across campuses while meeting security, privacy and other regulatory requirements mandated by the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).  Why?  Because Office 365 is the first and only major cloud business productivity solution to address rigorous HIPAA requirements.

Duke University, Emory University, Thomas Jefferson University, University of Iowa and the University of Washington, chose Office 365 for education after a consortium of academic institutions worked closely with Microsoft to inform a Business Associates Agreement (BAA) to ensure it met their organizations' HIPAA requirements. As a result of their efforts, Microsoft now offers the most comprehensive agreement to all organizations managing personal health data.

In addition to offering the most comprehensive HIPAA Business Associate Agreement for all customers managing personal health data, Office 365 also supports the most rigorous global and regional standards such as ISO 27001, SAS70 Type II, EU Safe Harbor, EU Model Clauses, the US Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the US Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

These investments are important because they enable Microsoft to meet a broad range of customer requirements regardless of size or industry.  More importantly, the transparency Microsoft provides via the Office 365 Trust Center gives customers peace of mind and the assurance that their data is just that, theirs and theirs alone.

Protected, safe and secure……just like that fortress I visited in Old San Juan.  To learn more about why Duke University, Thomas Jefferson University and others chose Office 365, see the press release.

Bill Crounse, MD                                     Senior Director, Worldwide Health                            Microsoft

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