In April, Microsoft halted support for their Windows XP operating system. This lack of support means that Microsoft will no longer help to protect the system from corruption and threats. For those physicians still running Windows XP, this could mean a greater risk to confidential information.

New steps may need to be taken in order for them to protect patient information and remain HIPAA compliant. It’s important to ensure that the network is protected by a firewall and anti-virus software is kept up to date. This however, is a temporary solution, as the next step should be to consider a system upgrade.

The majority of software is updated and should work on systems beyond Windows XP, but you should double check with your software vendor in order to be sure. If the software or certain programs aren’t compatible with higher systems, they should first be updated. At this point, according to Derek Koriorek’s article there are three options:

  • Replace the whole computer: This is a costly option, but will increase the speed and efficiency of the computer. To help ease this option into your budget, you can upgrade a portion of the computers in your practice every year.
  • Upgrade the operating system: Both Windows 7 and 8 are good systems, which can easily be installed on to your computers. However, if the computers are old, installing a new operating system won’t help increase its speed.
  • Turn the computer into a “virtual desktop connection”: This allows your software to directly run off of a server and no longer have to rely on a computer. With the help of IT support, this option can be quickly set up. Citrix and Windows Virtual Desktop can be used for this route.

Author: Apoorva Anupindi

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