File Transfer Protocol, often simply referred to as FTP, is a protocol used to transfer large volumes of files from one computer to another. This reliable method of file transfer has been simplified with the emergence of FTP hosting services. The typical service offers two of FTP’s major components – an FTP server and FTP client. In this type of arrangement, each user is provided with their own FTP account as well as a username and password. Regardless of the file type or size, an FTP hosting services allows you to easily upload files to the server via your FTP account. You also have the ability to download copies of those files directly from the FTP server. FTP hosting providers offer the utmost security for exchanging files. For example, only authorized FTP account owners are allowed to access files. Although HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) does provide a facility to share files over the internet, this protocol is very limited. These limitations have made FTP the preferred choice for individuals and industries across the world.
FTP in the Medical Field
In healthcare areas such as medical transcription, medical reports are commonly stored and exchanged as digital files. The increasing need to exchange large volumes of files over the internet allows medical professionals to forgo HTTP in favor of the more efficient and reliable protocol, FTP. The Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 helped to layout guidelines for FTP hosting, ultimately leading to more secure services. HIPAA regulation calls for healthcare services of all types to follow these guidelines when exchanging medical files over the internet to ensure security. Aside from aiding healthcare providers in meeting HIPAA regulations, FTP hosting services offer the following benefits:
- Easy administration via web-based interface
- FTP accounts can be set up in a matter of minutes
- Each FTP account owner has their own private folder protected from other users
- Medical files and records can only be accessed with authorized username and password
- Ability to share files with ease
- No need to duplicate CDs or pay for expensive shipping charges
FTP hosting can save medical professionals thousands of dollars and cut many hours off a grueling work day. These services allow you to upload and download 24/7, offering advantages to doctors who need to upload voice files and transcriptionists who need to downloaded them for transcribing. The reliability and efficiency of hosted FTP services can be a real lifesaver in the medical field.