Keeping Information Secure with Remote Users: Hospitals, HIPAA Restrictions and Telecommuting

Contributed by Paul Heath

On July 14, 2014, Newsweek ran a story covering the potential Long Island Railroad Strike (Wofford, 2014). The strike involved 300,000 Long Island Residents that made their way into New York City for work. The recommendation proposed by the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) for residents unable to make it into the city during the strike was to telecommute (The MTA network, 2013). Work trends over the past twenty years are not the same as they were in the age of our parents. Many people are not waking and making the routine commute into work anymore; instead they are getting up and heading over to the home office, their kitchen table or even the local coffee shop to begin their work day. Others might be sleeping in and starting their workday in the afternoon or evening. There are many ways to keep connected to the office today, which means one does not have to be at a certain place only open between certain hours. More and more, workers are free to be flexible with their day. This can all be credited to technological advances that make telecommuting and remote work (working away from the office) a possibility. Telecommuting is defined as using an Internet connection to perform one’s work from a remote location; a location removed from the physical space maintained and operated by one’s employer.

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