Nearly every practice needs remote access for staff and especially providers. Life for the provider has been made much easier by being able to access patient information requested by ER, Long-term, and Urgent care facilities from home or even traveling.
New regulations and mandates are changing the landscape of remote access. For instance if your practice accepts credit and debit cards, you are now held to PCI (Payment Card Interchange) rules which in the case of remote access are more stringent than HIPAA/HITECH.
There are several methods to access your data/EHR remotely, lets look at them.
RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) is a Microsoft service that allows multiple simultaneous users to access virtual desktops remotely. Users can use any program installed on the remote access server and can print. However; scanning is not directly supported.
RDP has been the small practice bread and butter access method for over a decade due to its easy setup and connection. Unfortunately hackers have developed more sophisticated attack vectors that are automated in order to “brute force” access to RDP servers. Moreover; RDP access is no longer considered PCI compliant.
VPN (Virtual Private Network) access has also been around for more than a decade. With personal VPN connections, your remote pc or laptop is connected directly to the work network via an encrypted “Tunnel” that appears to the remote pc as a local network.
WHile VPN connection is more secure and will support scanning, its drawbacks are less speed and more complicated setup. Virtual Private Networks however can be made extremely secure when utilized with 256Bit or better encryption and modern algorithms.
We recommend VPN connectivity for all Practices and business’s that wish to insure the security of protected information. Contact us for a thorough evaluation of your current remote access configuration.