Windows XP End of Life and HITECH/HIPAA Compliance
Windows XP was released August 24, 2001 (yeah a long, long time ago) and has been widely adopted by both home users and corporate users alike. On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will discontinue support and not release any security patches for Windows XP, which will effectively make it non-compliant with HIPAA / HITECH. After April 8, 2014, users running Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 3 or earlier will become vulnerable to attacks as hackers work to reverse engineer the last security patches. This includes both security and “non-security” hot fixes, free or paid support options and online technical content updates.
I am sure there are a lot of users in our industry who still run the old trusted and familiar OS but the time for its replacement is now. The biggest issue will be the vendor support of the various transcription applications and their ability to work with the newer versions of Windows. The majority should now will work with Windows 7 but as most of you know by now Windows 8 is the current version of Windows available. (I wrote about this some time ago so feel free to read that post as well). Application vendors should be hard at work updating their applications to work properly with newer versions of Windows and the included web browsers.
The upgrade process is typically painless and Windows will update itself with the new version when you purchase the upgrade version of the OS. It will update itself and keep your applications and data intact. Of course this could be a great excuse to finally get that fast new PC you have been wanting for a while too!
I would recommend any Windows XP users out there start looking to upgrade now and get with the appropriate application vendors or your company IT departments to inquire about the availability of application updates that will work with the new Windows (7 or 8) and get ahead of the curve before it happens. IT departments will be busy in the coming months getting this issue addressed within their organizations to maintain compliance. So the sooner you are ready for this coming change the better.