Healthcare is evolving and shaking hands with Information technology to deliver better services to the patients. Cloud is one such technology enabled service that is rapidly making its foothold in healthcare industry.
Cloud computing is an innovative IT-enabled approach that can act as a strategic vehicle to deliver cost-effective and timely healthcare services. It allows the healthcare organizations to focus less on managing IT and more on delivering care to their patients.
What is Cloud Computing?
In very simple words cloud computing is storing and accessing of data and programs over the internet instead of computer’s hard drive. It is an on-demand service that can be purchased by a person or an organization. Its main advantage is that the data can be accessed even if you are not using your personal computer.
As data is part of almost every area of healthcare, its storage, access and analysis is always a trouble. But cloud computing can help in storage (electronic health record) and access of the healthcare data between relevant group of people. This will facilitate fast and appropriate treatment to every patient.
Application of cloud computing in health care
Healthcare system is an inseparable part of our society. It is also a sensitive area in which health of the person is at stake. That is why every effort is made to improve healthcare services and give best outcomes to the patients. In such efforts, various applications of information technology have proven to be worth adopting. Cloud computing offers following opportunities in healthcare:
- Virtualization or consolidation of infrastructures (network, storage or processing capacity) for individual organizations into a private cloud
- Collaboration among departments, organizations and care settings to deliverassorted and better health outcomes to a population of patients with certain health conditions.
- Establishing public clouds for health promotion or decision support
- Development of community clouds to support integrated care delivery models for chronically ill patients
- Extended support to increase use of medical devices and applications for providers and patients
- Integration of social networking into e-health service
- Rapid implementation of IT solutions for health care and health promotion programs
- Hosting scalable data analysis platform by deploying a combination of analytics and big data along with cloud computing
- Sharing and discussing educational and professional practice content at a discipline level
- Logistics and process-oriented services like appointment scheduling
- Protection of information in electronic referral
- IT security services and infrastructures
Considerations for Cloud Implementation in Healthcare
Healthcare organization has huge data both of providers and patients. So before deciding upon the implementation of Cloud, a healthcare organization must consider following:
- Reliability of the chosen cloud-based technology
- Rights and obligations in its use
- Status of data collected using this technology
- Privacy and security issues
- Unique login assertions in case of individual cloud-based technology
- Complete security and segregation of the data accessed and collected through the cloud technology
Advantages of Cloud computing over traditional computing
Cloud computing offers following attractive advantages over traditional computing deployment models in Healthcare:
- Less initial investment in computing hardware and in the overall support, maintenance and operations
- More efficient server utilization that enables a relative reduction in the number of servers required
- Increased business agility due to rapid acquire and implementation of a cloud-based solution
- Lower comparative capital expenditure and operating costs
- Increased scalability and flexibility of deployed IT solutions
- Rapid deployment of information systems
- Reduced time for acquisition and implementation of solutions
- Reduced approval and funding challenges
- Increased savings
- More service with relatively fewer resources
- Measurable and comparable service delivery across geographies and populations
- Improved front line care delivery
Although adoption of new technologies is always a challenging task for every person but it is even more challenging for the healthcare staff to understand and implement technology as they are more concerned to improve patient health. Thus arise the need of a technology team that can guide a healthcare organization to walk through all the aspects of technology enabled services like cloud computing.
Matt Wilson – A Healthcare Expert, working with Aegis HealthTech as senior developer from last 5 years. He has extensive experience in Patient Portal Software Development, EMR & EHR Development, EMR Implementation Services and Consulting.