Revolutionizing modern healthcare with cloud computing
With cloud data storage costs steadily and falling rapidly and integrated cloud systems for healthcare emerging, perhaps now is the time for the global medical establishment to “upgrade” to cloud computing?
If you were to look at IT in hospitals across the globe you would find that most of the systems they rely on are not only outdated, but also not uniform. Paper records, non-digital patient images, handwritten memos / notes, etc…are scattered about and used in tandem with ineffectual IT systems which are only operating at half-functionality. Many hospitals have no dedicated digital database of patient records or data, and those that do are operating in a very disjointed capacity. The problem with this scenario (though it should be obvious) is that too much time, energy, and funds are being spent to manage these faulty systems of record keeping.
In a number of global surveys it was discovered that a majority of hospitals and healthcare facilities are utilizing outdated technologies. Likewise, while we like in the age of smartphones, it was determined that many on-call doctors are still being contacted via pagers! In the end, patient care will suffer at the hands of ineffectual data basing and inability to leverage technology; however, cloud computing may offer permanent solutions for the current predicament.
The biggest prohibiting factor to engaging new technologies and equipment is cost (no surprise there). Most institutions simply don’t have the funds necessary to devote toward upgrading their traditional Information Technology systems. It should also be noted that changes to one’s IT and data basing often requires additional training of personnel. It is these types of hidden costs that make upgrading nearly impossible for most healthcare organizations.
Cloud computing might just be the IT and data basing solution that the healthcare industry has been looking for. Comprehensive data basing, centralized management, and extremely low costs of operation make cloud computing look like a very attractive solution for the aforementioned problems. The costs associated with usage and maintenance of a cloud system has been steadily declining in recent years. For example, hospitals can now gain access to cloud-based IT for pennies on the dollar. Furthermore, because managed cloud services do exist, some healthcare organizations can slash their IT budgets while improving their capabilities at the same time. Additionally, through the implementation of cloud computing, healthcare facilities can often take advantage of emerging software and upgrades without having their monthly and/or annual costs increase.
Carecloud (http://www.carecloud.com) is one such cloud computing solution for healthcare organizations. While they are able to offer services like EHR (electronic health recordkeeping), they also delve into other pertinent areas for healthcare groups, like management of their revenue cycles and so forth. Likewise, better financial decisions can be made through Carecloud’s analytics and reporting services.
As cloud computing is generally offered as a metered service, healthcare institutions only pay for what they actually use and are able to cut away all the extraneous costs of maintaining infrastructure and so forth. While there are certain types of cloud computing providers which can offer their clients complete maintenance and management, having qualified cloud personnel on hand (on-site) is still the order of the day. It’s never been easier or cheaper to train or certify personnel in cloud computing, now it can be done entirely online!
At the end of the day, moving to the cloud is really about improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of IT for healthcare organizations. As previously stated; many hospitals and care facilities might have certain assets available to them, but they are often underutilized or perhaps being used in an incorrect manner. Just imagine, through cloud computing all medical records, physician reports, laboratory reports, scans, prescriptions, and information can be made available over to doctors via a globally accessible database. This will help to eliminate errors, misdiagnosis, or the assignment of wrong prescriptions as well; cloud computing could save a lot of lives and eliminate the need for many malpractice lawsuits.
Cloud computing is arguably the only real comprehensive solution out there for healthcare organizations. While there are other older systems in place which are also available, they are not offering the same level of incentive as what is offered by cloud providers. It should also be noted that many of these groups who are providing antiquated software, hardware or service to healthcare groups simply don’t understand the benefits of switching to dedicated cloud computing systems. Often times there’s simply too much upfront investment required and not enough enticement; additionally, many of the older systems require a great deal more personal maintenance. Cloud computing will revolutionize modern healthcare simply because it is the most cost-effective and technologically truthful choice. Through cloud computing, healthcare organizations will be able to keep better records and share information more easily while at the same time cutting expenditures and increasing capabilities.