With on the technology side of things. Technology

With healthcare, things are
constantly changing, that is on the technology side of things. Technology is
constantly evolving day by day; therefore, all healthcare organizations need to
be and should be up to date with everything, especially when it comes to
accessing and securing data. Before there were any HIPAA guidelines and
standards, all forms that healthcare organizations used were paper based, which
meant they had to be filed away once one was finished with it. This was the
standard way of doing things because this is all they had back then, but I’m
sure there was a major concern when it came to the protection of the sensitive
data they had possession of, hence the main reasons why HIPAA became about. Healthcare
data is so significantly important and highly sensitive, so it’s a must that it
be secured at all times. When it comes to transmitting data, the healthcare
industry has to be ranked highly in this area because they process several
documents daily. These documents include patient’s personal information,
medical records, insurance information, reimbursements, etc. data can be
transmitted via LAN (local area network) as well as WAN (wide area network).
LAN is a collection of devices that share a line of communication or wireless
link to the server (Rouse, 2016). WAN is a communication network that covers a
large geographic area (Rouse, 2016).  In
order for healthcare data to be transmitted securely, healthcare organizations
have a host of different mechanisms available to them that allows them to do so
via either LAN or WAN.

One mechanism that can be used
to transmit data securely is VPNs (virtual private network). A VPN is a private
network that allows individuals as well as businesses to securely send and
receive data via the Internet. It helps provide a secure tool for encrypting
and encapsulating private network traffic and moving it along (Microsoft, 2003).
Although VPN is a private network and can be used to transmit data, it is not
HIPAA compliant. It is said that if the VPN is set up quite well then it is
secure, however VPNs have been said to not be 100% secured because they
possibly leave MAC addresses and service set IDs unencrypted (Solomonov, 2014).
 Your VPN is only as secure as you make
it. For instance, if your system has been compromised once already, using a VPN
won’t make you that much of a difference this second time around, so it’s best
to secure your systems as quickly as you possibly can before trying to transmit
data over. Some advantages of using a VPN are as followed:

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·     
Scalability

·     
Cost

·     
Centralized resources

·     
Easy sharing

·     
Remote access

Some disadvantages to using a VPN are as
followed:

·     
Using a mobile device to initiate connectivity
to the virtual private network can cause security issues especially if the
connection is wireless.

·     
The design and security implementation for a VPN
can be very complex.

·     
Reliability can become a factor depending on the
service provider that is chosen.

You have to remember, when using a VPN you have
to think about certain things, like where a person so happens to be when they
are accessing this type of information. Even though you’re using a secure
tunnel to send and receive this healthcare data, once it goes through it still
pops up on each party’s screen, so you have to be very careful who you are
around when accessing thus said information.

Another mechanism that can be
used to transmit data securely is frame relay. Frame relay is the transmission of
data between LANs and endpoints in WANs (Rouse, 2015). Frame relay networks are
put in place so that they can decrease congestion during the transmittance of
data. In order to decrease congestion if it were to occur, they would do so by
dropping packets in excess of what you are guaranteed on the network (Rouse,
2007). Some advantages to using frame relay are as followed:

·     
It offers higher speeds. This is done simply because
there is no error detection incorporated which makes the overhead less.

·     
The network overhead is less due to
incorporation of congestion control mechanism.

·     
It operates at layer-1 (physical) and layer-2
(datalink).

·     
It allows frame size of 9000 bytes which is
enough for all the LAN frame types.

·     
It offers guaranteed throughput and delay.

·     
It provides secured connection as it is
difficult to break into PVCs between the sites.   

The disadvantages to frame relay are as followed:

·     
The flow control and error control is not
available in frame relay.

·     
Packets incur additional delay with every node
they pass through.

·     
It involves data overhead and processing
overhead with every packet.

·     
It allows variable length frames and hence may
create varying delays for different users.

·     
Due to varying delay, it is not suitable to send
sensitive data like real time voice or video.

·     
It can operate at 44.376 Mbps which makes it not
suitable for protocols requiring higher data rates.

In conclusion, there are
several different mechanisms that one can use when trying to transmit healthcare
data securely. When it comes to healthcare and the data that it entails, you
have to ensure that you are HIPAA compliant. HIPAA plays an important factor
when it comes to healthcare data because it helps to ensure that your privacy
is protected at all times. Back in the days, the only way for anyone (insurance
companies, doctors’ offices, patients, etc.) 
to be able to receive a copy of anyone’s healthcare data was via mail
and depending on your location, that could take a couple of days for one to
receive it. With so many different data transmission mechanisms around, you
don’t have to worry about that delay anymore. Though they all have their own
advantages as well as their disadvantages, I would have to say that in my
opinion this is the best thing that could have been brought about, especially
in the case that someone needs access to someone’s data immediately. I think that
when transmitting healthcare data, one just has to be very precautious. Make
sure that everything is stable and secure before sending anything over and you
shouldn’t run into any problems.  

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