The Cloud For Your Healthcare Practice
The Cloud may be popular, but that's not reason enough alone to migrate your healthcare practice data to a cloud solution right now. Do you know what real benefits the Cloud offers to those in the healthcare sector?
The Cloud can play an important role for both providers and patients in healthcare organizations. But maybe you think it’s still just a fad, and not actually here to stay.
But you’d be wrong. The healthcare cloud computing market is estimated to be worth up to $15.5 billion in five years.
Long story short – the Cloud is here to stay.
That’s why you need to know what it has to offer you and other professionals in the healthcare industry.
But to start, let's consider the Cloud in general…
What Is The Cloud (And What Does It Do?)
In a nutshell, the Cloud is a network of technologies that allows access to computing resources, such as storage, processing power, and more. That's where the data is, in these data centers all around the world. Which data center your data is in depends on what cloud service provider you're working with.
Why Bother With The Cloud?
- Computing Power: The Cloud has the ability to activate tens of thousands of CPUs. This unparalleled power can quickly perform deep analytics of your data, and process nearly any ad-hoc queries that you require.
- Reliable Costs: The cloud services subscription model offers the strategic advantage of low-cost, low-risk opt-in combined with a simple, predictable monthly fee.
- Easy Scalability: Cloud services have the unique strategic characteristic of being able to stretch or shrink to suit your current level of demand. This is especially useful for practices of any scale that will change in size over time.
- Real-Time Collaboration: With cloud technology, your staff doesn't have to wait for each other to be done with their part of the document or project in order to tackle their own aspect. They can all work on the same project at the same time to maximize productivity.
- Remote Work Capability: This cloud feature allows you and your employees to work remotely as needed, which will give your staff the flexibility they desire to have a more balanced home/work life.
What Does The Cloud Do For Healthcare Professionals?
Eliminates Onsite Infrastructure
You can increase collaboration and simplify management by hosting your data and applications through the Cloud instead of onsite.
It shouldn’t have to be said at this point, but just in case you’re still in the past, get rid of your on-site hardware!
Before the Cloud, onsite servers were a must for any organization that wanted to succeed, but no longer. Today, you don't need to purchase, install and maintain onsite servers. With the Cloud, you outsource it all to a data center instead.
By choosing a cloud solution instead of conventional infrastructure, you'll enjoy all the benefits of an up-to-date and optimized IT infrastructure, without having to pay more than your monthly service fee.
This is so basic in today's modern healthcare industry that to continue purchasing and maintaining costly on-site hardware is essentially fiscal negligence.
Harnesses Tools Designed For Your Field Of Work
With Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions specifically designed for the healthcare industry, many barriers to entry have all but disappeared.
The best examples of this are the SaaS-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) solutions. Traditionally, ERP solutions allowed organizations to facilitate better communication between their teams and departments.
The Cloud has only improved that capability, allowing practices to develop a hybrid environment in which part of their ERP was cloud-based, allowing for great reliability and a redundant data failsafe.
Similarly, traditional hard copy and locally stored EMRs aren’t meeting patient expectations today. They want to access up-to-date records with ease and as need be. The Cloud provides for a totally ambulatory EMR that integrates seamlessly with all aspects of a healthcare organization, from revenue cycle management to practice management needs. With this type of technology, staff can focus more directly on their actual work, taking care of their patients.
- Scalability and the ability to adjust as demand for healthcare services increase or decrease.
- Web access to data without the need to store information on computer devices.
- Secure remote access to applications and data.
- Access from mobile devices via the Internet.
- Access to a much larger ecosystem of information and a wide range of services.
Cloud services allow clinicians to search vast amounts of data to produce the best treatment plans. Patients can also access these services to learn about their medical issues and collaborate with their doctors.
Sophisticated analytic capabilities can be used with business intelligence solutions to improve both patient-specific assessment and management. Intelligent business process management suites (iBPMSs) and case management frameworks (CMFs) provide healthcare staff with the capabilities they need to mitigate medical mistakes and minimize patient adverse events (PAEs).
Cloud services facilitate personal health maintenance, improve diagnoses, provide better case outcomes, and optimize healthcare delivery. Healthcare organizations are increasingly relying on cloud-based practice management, medical records, and medical image archiving solutions. They offer cost-effective benefits and the ability to offload tasks from hospital IT departments so that they can support other operational and clinical support systems.
Cloud services, by storing data offsite in secure, maintained data centers, allow healthcare organizations to take advantage of storage services at a fraction of the cost of housing them internally. This results in reduced capital expenses and reduced staffing needs as well.
Increases Data Access Without Compromising Security
With traditional healthcare tech, the healthcare organization is responsible for security. With cloud services, the responsibility is shared between the cloud provider and the healthcare practice.
With the Cloud, security systems and tools are integrated with the cloud-based services they provide. They come with controls for access and authentication, firewalls, encryption services, monitoring, and intrusion detection. Plus, cloud service providers offer government-certified services through initiatives like FedRAMP, FISMA, and FIPS.
Cloud-based healthcare IT systems allow for broad interoperability and integration of other systems and applications like EHR/EMR solutions. They offer the ability to share information easily and securely.
Empowers Your Patients
All of that’s not to mention that the cloud also promotes patient compliance.
Patients are now sharing vital information with their providers to help them when making decisions and dealing with differential diagnoses. The increased use of the Cloud has led to the replacement of health IT systems with new capabilities that allow patients to play a greater role in their healthcare. The Cloud is at the center of this change; it supports the collaboration and information sharing that consumers demand today.
Patients are using the Cloud to take a more active role in maintaining their health via their computers, smartphones and wearable devices that track their activity, exercise, diets and vital signs. The Cloud also helps patients find the best, most appropriate health services in their area.
Still Confused About The Cloud?
To fully benefit from the Cloud, healthcare organizations should develop a strategy that complements their organizational goals. Cloud solutions for healthcare organizations will continue to provide new and improved patient care capabilities as more advances are accomplished. But if you’re unsure of how to go about this, consult with an IT company to get an expert consultation.
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