Healthcare CIOs are increasingly moving electronic patient records, including EHRs and diagnostic images, out of the internal data center and into the cloud.
Why move to the cloud?
- In 2008, only 9 percent of hospitals in the U.S. had a basic electronic health record (EHR) systems; by 2014, that had increased eight-fold with 76 percent of hospitals using a basic EHR system and 97 percent utilizing certified EHR technology
- With this surge in digitized patient data comes the challenge, for hospitals and health systems, to efficiently and cost effectively store and manage that data.
- Healthcare CIOs are increasingly moving electronic patient records, including EHRs and diagnostic images, out of the internal data center and into the cloud.
- Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics found that 83 percent of healthcare organizations use cloud services.
- The primary uses for cloud platforms are doing the following: hosting clinical applications and data, health information exchange, human resources applications and data and backup and disaster recovery.
- Prominent vendors are athenahealth, Practice Fusion, and eClinicalWorks Grid Cloud.
“You may be able to spend that $300,000 to $400,000 to get where you need to be this year, but where are you going to be in five or six years when it is time to upgrade all that hardware again?
- Investing up front in IT equipment requires capital expenditures, whereas using cloud services is an operational expense and that has been a big driver for healthcare organizations to use the cloud
- “The ability to pay as you go and purchase capacity as you need it and carry that as an operating expense becomes very attractive,”
- The need for technical resources and talent also is driving many hospitals to look at cloud applications as it can allow for better allocation of IT resources.
Benefits of the Cloud
- lower costs than maintaining the current IT system (56 percent),
- faster deployment (53 percent),
- a lack of staff able to maintain on-premise systems (52 percent)
- more robust data recovery (50 percent).
- the need for on-demand, scalable, always on solutions (45 percent),
- regulatory compliance (41 percent),
- better information security (26 percent)
- mobility of workforce (26 percent).
Summarized from Healthcare Informatics