8 Ways Cloud Technology Is Changing the Healthcare System

Cloud computing more than just uploading your files in Yahoo! Groups or Google Communities to share with a common group. Today, it speaks of large data and resources that companies use. As such, it affects many businesses and industries, including the health care sector. If you work in this sector, there are a few trends you’ll want to pay attention to.

1. Electronic Records

91% of doctors  feel the biggest challenge to improve clinical and financial performance is the lack of Electronic Medical Records interoperability between all providers and payers including ancillaries, hospitals, clinics, labs, and physicians. Hospital Review says moving healthcare systems into the cloud enables you to begin thinking about cloud-based Electronic Medical Records EMR –something that’s very different from simply moving or merging healthcare data to a centralized storage location.There are several advantages of a Cloud based EMR. This technology can easily bring healthcare systems together because while you continue using your invested system you’ll now also have access to information across other healthcare systems because they’re connected through API’s that lie within your cloud infrastructure. This technology gives you a new private healthcare network that’s securely connected together in the cloud. This plays a huge role as far as the protection of patients information is concerned.Despite the easy access, Cloud based  records have proven to be extremely protective. The data itself will never leave its original sourced systems so people can receive emergency care regardless of their location or health system without having to provide their past medical history. Another remarkable thing about Cloud based EMR is that they are designed such a way that it fits perfectly to the contemporary medical requirements of the patients. They often need online access to their medical records,lab test results and other data. This eventually improves the way people participate in their healthcare while also improving provider experience.

2. Communication Through the Cloud

Doctors can stay connected with a cloud based phone system. Forbes says there are many reasons why this type of communication is vital today, including:

  • When doctors don’t talk to each other it can easily result in many malpractices and frauds. So there is a need for transparency.
  • Hospitals need to talk to one another and also communicate within their own walls so they don’t waste money. Doing so only results in an increased cost to patients – most of whom can’t afford medical treatment in the first place.This is one of those parameters where patients rate healthcare organizations.. Having good etiquettes in customer support is a prerequisite no matter the type of organization.
  • High-quality research is necessary for progress to be made. This is dependent on collaboration – something a cloud-based phone system would make easier for them.This includes the scope of enhancing the communication between doctor and the patient on a  massive level. Good communication with the patient is akin to a good customer  service.
  • Earlier Scheduling appointments, making cancellations or shifting them around were cumbersome and tedious when hospitals worked on non cloud solutions.With the advent of cloud management systems, Billing and Scheduling appointments are becoming becoming easier and faster.

3. Streamlined Collaboration

The CDW says streamlined communication results in streamlined patient care. This is great news because patients don’t want to be readmitted to the hospital when they could have been taken care of properly the first time. When their whole medical team is able to easily communicate with one another through the cloud, they won’t have to worry about readmission. With documents being centralized and kept on a cloud-accessible location, employees can work on it  without having to send an updated version to all of team members. The real time update makes sure that everything is there in the system without any miss or gaps. This communication and its resulting collaboration is easy today since you can take the cloud with you and use it anywhere, at any time. Another positive aspect of streamlined collaboration is a higher level of employee participation on account of equal opportunity to provide inputs. This becomes a core parameter if we are talking about the job satisfaction in the employees.  Also there is no need to send files as they are updated real time on cloud while working saving a lot of space than when used internally. No need to mention it saves a lot of money too.

4. Data Analytics

In the coming years, the health care sector is expected to grow in an unprecedented rate.It will be a big challenge for IT industries to store and analyze the whopping amount of data associated with it. Housing all these on cloud offers an effective solution to all these problems.Seemingly simple things like making sure that data is in the right place so it can be transformed into information, at the right time, and across multiple devices, in a secure manner will greatly improve patient care. This wouldn’t be possible without the cloud since it’s important to deliver multiple services across one unified network infrastructure.Huge chunks of data are being produced in hospitals nowadays not knowing what exactly should be done with them. The remarkable thing about cloud is that they can effectively comprehend zettabytes of data within a matter of seconds. Medium says this is no longer a dream of the future, it’s something we’re currently witnessing happening today. Dell recently released a report saying companies that invest in Big Data, cloud mobility and security enjoy up to 53% faster revenue growth than their competitors. So it becomes a necessity  to implement such kind of technology so that a faster deployment of services can be done.

5. Integrated and Efficient Patient Care

Information Age says managing millions of EMRs presents quite the challenge today because practitioners must also integrate social and health care information. This developing infrastructure is working hard to connect the countless trusts, hospitals, surgeries, and clinics together through the cloud. In doing so, cloud computing is changing how doctors, nurses, clinics, and hospitals deliver quality, cost-effective services to their patients. There are two forces driving this today:

  • The economic imperative to cut costs
  • The need to improve the quality of patient care

Earlier EMR’s used external hardwares for storing large chunks of data and information. The economic curve whent higher whenever there was a need to retrieve such huge amounts. So there was a huge necessity to cut the costs.This problem affected patient care too. But the advent of cloud based technology made sure that the economy curve went down without moving the facilities which was being provided to the patients.. Speaking of the patient care quality, Cloud has offered several benefits like a faster prescription advice  for various contemporary medical problems by seeing their past records. This is a key factor in resolving medical problems because you need to check the patient’s earlier records to suggest a solution for a medical problem. .On a massive scale, dealing with data becomes difficult. Cloud computing take care of all such kinds of issues. The cloud could revolutionize healthcare as we know it, making it more efficient through a decentralized approach while also improving the patient experience. This is because medical practitioners would be able to use services that are comparable to those offered by internal IT organizations, but at a significantly lower cost.

6. Security and Mobility

Unfortunately, it’s in human nature to judge people and doctors are no different so we can’t expect them to be nonjudgmental. This becomes an even bigger challenge when you pause for just a moment to consider the fact that each patients’ information contains such confidential pieces of data that doctors must always work to protect. Herein also lies the reason why it’s so important for the hospital’s IT infrastructure and network to be so secure that hackers or anyone who may attempt to get the data illegally is stopped dead in their tracks and prevented from doing so. There were some recent studies showing that the health-care industry is 200% more vulnerable to data breaches than any other industry. While the very beginning state of cloud computing had issues in regards to security, over the years there have been many experts who have joined in to make the system really difficult to hack into. This means that you can now rest assured that increased levels of security and privacy in the cloud do now exist. One such example of this is that hospitals who want to use cloud computing must now adhere to the guidelines that are outlined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). There were various reports on many organizations showing an upgradation of  security after switching to cloud. RapidScale claims that 94 percent businesses saw an improvement in security after shifting to cloud and 91 percent said the cloud makes it easier to meet government compliance requirements.

7. Saving on Data Storage

It isn’t unusual for businesses to spend extra money to buy an additional storage system that they can use to back their data up. This is in addition to the storage space where they have the resources they use daily. Cloud storage costs about 10 times less than this server space and the hardware materials it requires. Users can now witness cost savings because it does need any internal space to store information remotely. As the cloud technology is totally utility based, users only need to pay for what they use at a given point of time. These advantages apply on health-care industry too, as a lot of medical data need to stored and analyzed. As we are seeing a huge surge in information and data across the hospitals around the world. It is extremely important to have an efficient data storage system. As mentioned earlier there is absolutely no need of an internal device to store the huge chunks of data that is produced. Furthermore, training people how to maintain and support the system throughout its daily use is simplified since cloud computing storage adapts to your needs. This is why you need to choose the right package. Today 82% of hospitals all around the world are using cloud services for Health Information Exchange and data storage.

8. Advanced Clinical Research

Smart Data Collective says doctors who prescribe medication will get some help from Big Data analytics. Sharing data between pharmaceutical giants via the cloud will also help researchers choose the best subjects. This is something that was witnessed recently when clinical trial big data revealed desipramine can also be used in curing lung cancer. Flatiron Health service, Oncology Cloud, says that about 96% of potential data on cancer patients is yet to be analyzed. This is something that big data analytics can help sort out. Big data can normalize information by collecting it from various sources thus giving a proper solution to a given medical problem. This process is also known as Evidence based medicine and are being used in various health care sectors that have now implemented cloud technology.   Real time alerting is also one of the facilities associated with Big Data. As hospitals nowadays need to give perspectives on the spot after analyzing medical data, Real time alerting plays a huge role in quality patient care. Big data will also help develop personalized medicine since it can recognize each person’s unique genetic makeup. Doing so will help with the fight against epidemics.

Author BIO

Being a senior business associate, Peter Davidson strives to help different brands and startups to make effective business decisions and plan effective business strategies. With years of rich domain expertise, he loves to share his views on the latest technologies and applications through his well-researched content pieces.

Niki Vajdova

Marketing Intern

Student at Faculty of management - Comenius University in Bratislava.

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