This is a big deal as email correspondence has been a huge topic for years with security and ensuring privacy.  For my own use I have parked my own domain of imageducknet. net over at Microsoft and as a “Live” or “Hotmail” user you get the same antiviral protection that they sell to the enterprise.  I remember when they purchased Forefront and attended a few local seminars here in the OC and it has come a long way since then.  In the past I have also recommended the Small Business accounts which has now been evolved into Office 365. 

Again, individual configurations in the cloud with Office 365 are best created with the IT or IS departments but knowing that the HIPAA compliance is there is a huge step forward.  I like the fact that I have choices too with coordinating the cloud with my own familiar desktop Office software too, been doing that for a couple years now.  A while back I spoke with Chris Sullivan at Microsoft on how Office helps the small physician practice so now with HIPAA compliance it seems like the solution has even grown to create even more value.  BD 

Microsoft Talks About Healthcare Provider Solutions – Interview With US Director Chris Sullivan

Microsoft also announced the availability of the Office 365 Trust Center. The site provides in-depth information about the privacy and security practices for Office 365 and was recently redesigned to be more accessible and easy to understand. The new site can be accessed at http://trust.office365.com.image

Today, Office 365 can help hospitals, insurers and clinics confidently empower their staff to be efficient and productive virtually anytime and almost anywhere while substantially reducing their IT operating costs.”

That is, until now. Today, we are excited to announce that Microsoft is helping remove that barrier by embedding privacy and security capabilities in Office 365, our next-generation cloud productivity service. This means that Office 365 is now a cloud-based platform that complies with leading information privacy and security standards for customers operating in the United States and European Union. As part of its contractual commitment to customers, Microsoft will now sign business associate agreements under the U.S.-mandated Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Why is this such a monumental step in our commitment to the health industry?  Because communication and collaboration is the lifeblood of the health industry and Office 365 makes it easier for people and teams to be efficient and productive anytime and anywhere.  By embedding HIPAA privacy and security capabilities in Office 365, Microsoft is enabling health organizations to confidently empower their staff to communicate and collaborate anytime, anywhere and substantially lower their IT operating costs.

As the first major cloud-based productivity service to obtain certification under ISO/IEC 27001, a rigorous information security management benchmark, Microsoft submits to a yearly audit of its information security policy by an independent expert and shares the results with its customers. Additionally, Microsoft has developed its online services to provide physical, administrative and technical safeguards that facilitate full compliance with HIPAA requirements.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/microsoft_in_health/archive/2011/12/14/microsoft-office-365-cloud-based-productivity-service-complies-with-hipaa-standards-for-data-protection-and-security.aspx

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