Are your computers putting your HIPAA compliance at risk?

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As of April 8th 2014, Microsoft ended security updates and patches for Windows XP and Office 2003. What does this mean for Healthcare providers? Windows XP users will no longer receive security updates, non-security fixes, or support; lowering performance levels and leaving computers exposed to hacks and cyber attacks. It means that having a Windows XP computer on your network will be an automatic HIPAA violation, also making your facility non-compliant with Meaningful Use.

Is your facility covered?

The HIPAA Security Rule requires all providers to protect patient information with security system patches and updates – ones that will no longer exist for Windows XP users after April 8th.
Here are three simple ways to make updating easier for your facility staff and budget:

1.    Use a free transfer tool to migrate to a newer platform.
Microsoft’s team wrote on their blog, “We have partnered with Laplink to provide Windows XP users with a free data migration tool called PCmover Express for Windows XP which copies your files and settings from your Windows XP PC to a new device running Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. This tool will copy your files, music, videos, email and user profiles and settings from your old PC to your new device, transferring across your home or work network, and even enables Windows XP users to customize exactly what they want to bring over to their new device.”
PC Mover Express is also available for download on WindowsXP.com.

2. Update your software and your budget.
Making Windows XP absolute means replacing both hardware and software. To conserve energy and cost, consider replacing desktops with laptops and upgrading micro PCs to tablets.

Take advantage of new ways to purchase or rent software like the Microsoft Office Suite, online backups and file sharing. Instead of installing these programs on every device, your facility can pay low monthly fees for the latest software through the Cloud, allowing users access to all the programs online instead.

3.    Find a specialist to work with your IT Department.    
HIPAA and Meaningful Use requirements protecting patient data require business-class solutions installed by informed IT professionals. Protecting your patients and their personal information requires a powerful knowledge of the latest IT security. Devices including security features must be properly installed, configured and actively managed; contracting with a specialist for this process can make the changes easier and safer for everyone at your facility.

Not sure if you’re running Windows XP?

You can instantly verify whether any computer is running Windows XP on a special site created by Microsoft, here.

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