As the Electronic Health Record trend continues to pick up speed, hospitals are turning to new solutions for their data storage, including colocation. These changes are affecting the data center security needs of medical facilities, particularly with regard to physical protection of patient information.

According to EHR Intelligence, the health care community is heavily focused on the consolidation of their systems. In the data center, colocation serves to optimize consolidation efforts and support improvements in terms of data center operational costs and efficiency. However, as colocation adoption increases, firms will need to deploy stronger access control solutions.

Physician demands on health care IT systems in particular is changing the landscape of health IT infrastructure. According to Linda Reed, CIO of Atlantic Health System, the changes occurring across the nation are inspiring significant adaption in IT environments, including access to data and the availability of that access from ambulances and first responders.

“As we acquire physician practices, we are the proud owners of a dozen EHRs because these offices installed them before they were part of us,” Reed told the news source, regarding changes Atlantic Health System is undertaking. “We have a centralized data center and use colocation, so if we can move it we will and put it safely into our data center. For a couple settings, we migrated them to a hosted solution. Some of the vendors, you can’t really move the server away from where they are. If that’s the case, we’ll secure it. But there is always the issue of how you’re going to get the system backed up, do you back it up.”

In order to ensure that health care patient data security and privacy needs are met, and health care system considering colocation has to invest in high-quality security solutions like biometric technology to limit physical access to its data center and optimize the efficiency of its operations.