Cloud computing has grown tremendously in the last several years. And while several sectors held out initially because of more stringent security requirements, many of these security concerns have been addressed. Healthcare information is subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), one of the most stringent data protection laws.
But even healthcare is using cloud computing at increasing rates. The global healthcare cloud computing market was valued at U.S. $19.9 billion in 2018, with an anticipated growth rate of 17.5% projected for the forecast period of 2019-2026. And cloud computing is used for various healthcare purposes, including communication, decision-making, forecasting, and the unification of a facility’s It infrastructure.
The Benefits of Cloud Computing for Healthcare Facilities
The reality is that many healthcare facilities now recognize the many benefits that cloud computing can offer. These benefits include:
- Centralization of Healthcare Records: Patients had multiple medical records and separate files in the past. And requesting information from care delivered by different clinicians was cumbersome. In many instances, it could be life-threatening if the right data wasn’t accessible at the right time. This process is overcome with cloud migration, which can store and manage all patient records in a single, centralized location. The records are accessible across all healthcare centers and can be accessed whenever a clinician requires the information. This type of data accessibility can result in a better standard of patient care.
- Top-Notch Cybersecurity: Protecting healthcare information is incredibly important since HIPAA violations can be costly. Currently, cloud computing technologies offer optimal security measures to safeguard protected health information and healthcare information exchanges. Moreover, security is available in a portable format that allows clinicians to access the information they need from anywhere.
- Scalability: Scalability is one of the most attractive benefits of cloud computing. Cloud services ensure that clients have access to the right level of resources when they need them. And as demand fluctuates, so can the cloud computing resources – making it a much more cost-effective solution. In addition to this benefit, the scalability of the cloud ensures that any healthcare facility can offer care during a public emergency or natural disaster.
- Innovation in Healthcare: Cloud computing solutions optimize patient care by allowing innovative solutions to make care more accessible. The recent pandemic has demonstrated the value of care strategies, such as virtual clinician visits, telemedicine applications, and information exchange, such as patient reminders and follow-up care instructions. These innovative platforms are easy to access from the cloud and allow users to capture vital real-time information from a remote location. This advanced capability enhances the level of care that patients can expect.
- Coordination: Cloud computing solutions allow all departments to access the information they need and restrict access to information that shouldn’t be shared with others. This benefit can enhance how clinical care, human resources, and administrative divisions work together to enhance the facility’s overall performance. This type of coordination can also optimize inventory management, including medical equipment and medications. For example, you can quickly tell when to order more or when something has expired. And these features also optimize clinical performance and reduce the risk for the healthcare facility.
- Healthcare Data Analytics: Big data has been discussed in healthcare for years, and for a good reason. Reliable data and analytics capabilities can be very useful in identifying the best way to treat different patient groups. Cloud computing makes it possible to retrieve relevant patient data from multiple sources and apply analytical intelligence that furthers medical research. Handling these enormous datasets becomes much more complex when not done on the cloud.
- Financial Benefits: The synergy from multiple departments working together can lead to substantial financial benefits. You will have less lost time and time spent trying to track down data when it becomes available on the cloud. Additionally, enhancing patient care can prevent many clinical conditions from developing or worsening, which leads to overall savings in treatment costs. It also relieves some of the strain on an overburdened healthcare system. And finally, the scalability of cloud computing resources ensures that you aren’t paying unnecessary purchase and storage costs for hardware you would otherwise need.
The reality is that cloud computing represents the future of the healthcare industry. It offers functionality and security that cannot be beaten. It moves healthcare research and innovation forward in ways that will benefit our population now and in the future. To learn about how cloud computing can be introduced and implemented at your healthcare facility, contact Sagacent Technologies today.
Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning, and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.