Cloud computing in healthcare has numerous benefits and often works hand-in-hand for both patients and physicians.
When it comes to healthcare, the privacy and security of patient information are paramount. As we look to a more mobile future, healthcare providers are being faced with the issue of tackling interoperability issues caused by the siloing of data within disparate systems.
Cloud computing in healthcare provides the physician and healthcare team with flexibility, eliminating the time required for IT staff to manage back-end enterprise solutions, while still maintaining their business applications, data, and infrastructure.
In this blog, we will discuss cloud-based technology that is transforming the healthcare industry, how it is impacting organizations that employ it, and how patient care improves as a result of cloud adoption.
Before we proceed ahead, let’s understand what is cloud computing in healthcare all about in detail:
What is Cloud Computing in Healthcare?
Technology is extending its reach into even the most remote parts of the healthcare industry. Cloud computing in healthcare refers to the use of remote servers accessed via the Internet to store, manage, and process health-related data
The EMR mandate has led to an increased usage of Electronic Health Records (EHR), and as a result of this, the demand for cloud-based services has increased exponentially.
Healthcare cloud computing is a game-changer. Not only does it enable greater flexibility, cost-savings, and scalability, it also comes with a range of cybersecurity benefits too.
9 Key Benefits of Cloud Computing in Healthcare:
So to understand more about the benefits of cloud computing in the healthcare industry, let’s dive straight into the 9 key benefits of cloud healthcare:
1. Supports Digital Transformation Goals
According to Accenture reports, ith 81% of healthcare professionals say “going digital” is the number one priority for their healthcare organization that is accelerating. But small and medium-sized organizations have a smaller online presence than larger health systems.
Moving to cloud healthcare is one of the first steps in your digital transformation. Furthermore, doctors can benefit from cloud services immediately regardless of the size of their practices.
2. Streamlines Electronic Record Keeping
Cloud computing is the future of healthcare IT. Much has been said about the benefits of cloud computing in healthcare. it should be noted that health systems and practitioners widely embrace the practice of using EHRs and electronic medical records (EMRs).
In fact, some experts are estimating that 86% of office-based physicians had adopted any EHR, while 80% prefer certified EHR.”
While electronic health records (EHRs) and electronic medical records (EMRs) have many benefits as compared to writing outpatient charts, there are still inefficiencies in their implementation.
For example, some healthcare facilities still enter lab or doctor notes manually. Cloud computing in healthcare makes it convenient to connect patient charts to systems like patient scheduling tools and telehealth programs.
3. Enables a Patient-Centric Approach
Delivering health care where it is needed most and when it is most convenient to patients is critical to future healthcare spending. Now that the medical device market has seen a shift toward cloud-based services, growing numbers of wirelessly connected devices are contributing to more complex patient data.
Furthermore, giving patients access to health data can achieve patient-centric goals that cannot be supported by on-site solutions. When offered cloud-based access to health records, patients access the benefits of could technology in the following ways:
- Monitor healthcare charges
- Search for a healthcare provider
- Send or receive text messages
- Communicate online or through email
- Schedule medical appointments online
- Complete health-related forms or paperwork
4. Delivers a Scalable Healthcare Solution
Self-hosted storage solutions have their limitations. Storage limits increase the cost of expansion, so information technology (IT) teams can’t just keep adding more storage capacity.
The only solution is to buy additional hardware and invest in software updates. Cloud for healthcare, however, applies a subscription model for pay-as-you-go services. This allows unlimited scaling up or down without purchasing new hardware.
It puts the effort on the cloud provider to handle upgrades, patches, and data security, which are all valuable resources for any healthcare organization.
Also read: Emerging IoT Technologies
5. Improves Interoperability Between Devices and Systems
As per November 2020 eHealth Initiative survey, the major challenges faced by healthcare executives are:
- Managing patient access with APIs
- Complying with public reporting rules and information
- Connecting admission, discharge, and transfer systems
- Providing payor-to-payor data exchanges
- Maintaining and updating provider databases using APIs
Interoperability is crucial for all systems and providers so that everyone has immediate access to all information to provide the best possible care. This requires comprehensive cloud integration through which data from connected medical devices, applications, programs, and systems can be shared.
6. Enhances Collaboration Between Doctors and Specialists
In order to achieve value-based care methods, the healthcare sector needs to improve collaboration between providers. This isn’t easy to do without cloud computing.
While it’s no surprise that more information sharing is helpful, the study finds that other measures, such as better communication and task management are also key. Those with handoffs of patients or electronic health records were more likely to get the process right.
Cloud-based applications make it possible for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers to work together more efficiently and effectively than they can with traditional technologies.
7. Reduces the Burden of Data Storage
Medical devices and applications generate a lot of data. In return, health providers must leverage data security and management.
Additionally, they monitor on-site storage capacity and make large infrastructure investments as the amount of data grows. This data needs to be securely stored, managed, and analyzed to enable providers to proactively identify problems and improve patient care.
By using cloud solutions, providers can focus on patient-facing goals and improve the health of their organization. It can not only help a hospital to save money but also increase their business opportunities.
8. Allows Data-Driven Decision-Making
Big data is helping solve a big problem — the increase in chronic diseases and overall health initiatives. For example, with cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), providers can compile and analyze patient data.
Healthcare cloud computing is transforming the entire industry. It has enabled physicians to better detect and respond to public health threats, and it has made it easier for patients and providers to access and share data.
With healthcare experiencing explosive data growth, healthcare cloud solutions are needed to fuel big data analytics and personalized medicine initiatives.
9. Enhances Disaster Recovery Efforts
Data loss, whether due to natural disasters or “techno-disasters” or other events that are beyond the control of organizations and people, is a serious concern for healthcare providers. Not only could data loss lead to patient care challenges but it can also affect regulatory compliance.
However, there are certain areas within healthcare that could be considered vulnerable in terms of cloud security, privacy, and data protection. While it may be easy to dismiss data loss prevention as less relevant for healthcare organizations than for other industries, such as finance or retail services, it’s crucial to remember that a better living environment may lead to better health outcomes.
Also read: The Ultimate Guide to MERN Stack
With the above information, healthcare providers must leverage the benefits of cloud computing in healthcare by storing and managing data efficiently,
When considering cloud computing in healthcare, providers should look beyond the business and operational requirements and consider how this approach can help attract and retain healthier patients.
Can providers maintain control over sensitive health data while still allowing patients access to their own records?
Can they maintain data integrity while still offering portability that can aid self-management?
Today, cloud computing is still new in the healthcare industry. But as technology advances, analysts say it’s likely to become a mainstay for creating a safe environment for sensitive patient data.