You’d be hard-pressed these days to find a successful company that conducts business without the assistance of cloud computing applications — and it’s no surprise why. We’ve established a new standard in today’s workforce of employees working from different devices and locations, and our applications require more data processing power than ever before.
This makes the need for an IT infrastructure that can protect and support data in real-time imperative to the success of work in any field. But it’s especially necessary when it comes to healthcare — an industry where immediacy and privacy are paramount.
Migration to the cloud has had a huge impact on the healthcare industry, optimizing the way patient data is managed, scaling down operational costs, and even assisting healthcare providers in treatment decisions. In fact, surveys show that healthcare organizations lead other industries in cloud adoption, relying on the cloud for everything from core applications and data to backups and disaster recovery.
Curious about migrating to the cloud for your Indianapolis healthcare organization? Read on to learn about how cloud computing is beneficial for the healthcare industry.
Advantages of Cloud Computing for the Healthcare Industry
Scalability and System Flexibility
Hospitals and clinics are environments of constant movement. What’s more, there are frequent changes to the operations and procedures that keep them running. Whether it’s operational shifts, updates to policy and regulations, or the coming and going of staff and treatment options, there are countless external pressures that must be accounted for — and keeping up with those changes is no easy task. In the healthcare world, where every second can affect the safety and well-being of a patient, adapting to these changes is especially urgent.
Because cloud-based applications allow you to expand or decrease your data and resources, they’re an unquestionable fit to address those fluctuating demands — without any interruption.
Added Security for Healthcare Data
The ability of the cloud to safeguard your data and resources from a natural disaster or security breach is its strongest and most appealing benefit. With cloud backup applications, all data and files are automatically updated and saved in real-time.
Even better, all of your data is copied, fully encrypted, and safely stored at an off-site data center. So in the case of an emergency, it would be immediately retrievable, without the downtime of waiting on backup hardware or file recovery. Most importantly, your healthcare provider business would carry on as seamlessly as before, without affecting the response time to your patients.
Collaboration Between Patients and Medical Staff
Another incredibly helpful aspect of cloud computing in the healthcare industry is how it increases and streamlines collaboration. Whether it’s between busy healthcare practitioners who shuttle between patients and need to update other caregivers, or healthcare companies that communicate with each other, constant collaboration is a necessity — both internally and externally.
The cloud allows for real-time shared data and storage, as well as virtual communication, that streamlines lengthy collaborative processes. This results in decreased downtime and a quicker teamwork response for patient treatment.
Improved Accessibility and Treatment for Patients
As patients, we all know that trying to get the most basic healthcare information can make you feel like a rat running through a maze, in search of the tiniest morsel of cheese. For example, getting test results might require talking to a physician, multiple nurses, and multiple administrative workers. Unfortunately conveying sensitive health information to patients can be complicated.
Cloud-based patient portals make everything simpler for both patients and their providers. They allow providers to send data to patients in a secure and easily accessible manner. Patients can also make appointments online and review changes to their prescriptions without having to navigate the administrative system of their provider.
Cloud computing also helps to enable the growing trend of telemedicine. Remote consultations became essential during the pandemic, but as the threat of COVID diminishes, telemedicine is still a highly effective tool for treating people with disabilities and people living in remote areas.
For some treatment scenarios, like after a major surgery, telemedicine is a great way for patients to stay connected to their provider from the convenience of their home. Through the use of wearable devices, healthcare providers can also use cloud computing to monitor patient vitals or send reminders for medication.
Reliable Backups and Data Storage in Healthcare
A cloud backup system is a valuable component of data security in healthcare. In a 2021 survey of cybersecurity professionals in healthcare, 67 percent of respondents said their organization was hit by a “significant” cyber security incident in the past year. More than half of those respondents said the incident had disrupted operations, including the ability to provide care.
There are a number of other benefits to having reliable cloud backups in place. Natural disasters are rare but they do happen, and backups can help to minimize service interruptions. Cloud backups allow you to recover previous versions of a file in the event it is accidentally deleted or overwritten with the wrong data. Furthermore, cloud backups are automated, which means one less challenge for IT staff to think about.
The Cost Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud
The bottom line is that no matter your industry, cost is always going to be a major differentiating factor. According to a recent survey, one of the biggest spending priorities for healthcare executives this year will be to modernize their IT infrastructure. That will include cloud computing because, in the long run, cloud computing beats the high cost of the hardware and maintenance that are integral to maintaining an internal data center.
Paying for a subscription-based service makes IT infrastructure expenses more reliable since they scale to the needs of the user without any extra associated cost. This predictable expenditure allows for the purchase of advanced medical technologies, such as 3D printing or AI, that could greatly improve patient treatment care but would otherwise be out of budget.
How Cloud Adoption in Healthcare Has Progressed
Although cloud adoption was progressing at a significant pace in healthcare networks before 2020, the pandemic made cloud adoption a necessity, spurring major digital transformations across the industry. Not only has the pandemic forced late adopters onto the bandwagon, but healthcare organizations are increasingly seeing cloud technology as a way to improve their core functions.
Despite the massive amount of progress made in the past few years, many healthcare organizations have yet to realize the full potential of their cloud capabilities. In many situations, initiatives have stalled or fallen short of stated objectives. It's important to note that getting the most value from cloud technology requires more than just adopting the technology itself.
It also requires changes to organizational workflows and overall culture. New methods need to be adopted and embraced. Failures and setbacks are an inevitable part of the change, but the willingness to improve allows an organization to take full advantage of scalability, accessibility, interoperability, and other cloud computing benefits in the healthcare industry.
Get the Most out of Cloud Computing in Healthcare with Taylored Systems
Cloud computing has the potential to completely change not just the infrastructure of your business, but also the way health care is provided on the whole. Taylored Systems is here to simplify your IT procedures so you can focus on your healthcare community with the attention and treatment they deserve.