Author(s): Klein CA
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Abstract The Internet has grown into a world of its own, and its ethereal space now offers capabilities that could aid physicians in their duties in numerous ways. In recent years software functions have moved from the individual's local hardware to a central server that operates from a remote location. This centralization is called cloud computing. Privacy laws that speak to the protection of patient confidentiality are complex and often difficult to understand in the context of an ever-growing cloud-based technology. This article is a review of the legal background of protected health records, as well as cloud technology and physician applications. An attempt is made to integrate both concepts and examine Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance for each of the examples discussed. The legal regulations that may inform care and standards of practice are reviewed, and the difficulties that arise in assessment and monitoring of the current situation are analyzed. For forensic psychiatrists who may be asked to provide expert opinions regarding malpractice situations pertaining to confidentiality standards, it is important to become acquainted with the new digital language from which these questions may arise.
This article was published in J Am Acad Psychiatry Law
and referenced in Applied Microbiology: Open Access