Microsoft is officially ending support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014, less than 90 days from now. This means that Microsoft will stop providing patches, including security updates for its over decade old operating system. While HIPAA laws do not specifically say anything about programs that health practices use that have reached their end of life, it does require that security updates be applied to software as they become available (Paragraph 164.308(a)(1)(i)).
I.T. professionals agree that this effectively puts anyone still using Windows XP system after April 8 out of compliance with HIPAA and HITECH. If your office is still using Windows XP operating system on any of the PCs, we strongly recommend planning an upgrade path to current operating systems before the April 8 deadline.
Since some third party software like certain practice management and imaging systems haven’t been updated to work with Windows 8, it means upgrading to computers with Windows 7 would be the best choice.
If you acquired computers in the last 5 years and are running Windows XP, it is possible that you already have valid licenses with which to upgrade your existing PCs to Windows 7. If so, you will have a sticker on your upgradable Windows PC that looks like the following.
If this option is available to you, the PC may also require a RAM upgrade to make sure that installing Windows 7 will keep the computer running smoothly. Please note that not all Windows XP machines are suitable for this upgrade option.
Whether you have Windows XP machines that are upgradable to Windows 7 or not, please give us a call at 707-523-5915 so we can help you plan an upgrade path to a current version of Windows.