Though the healthcare industry is one of the most challenging industries to transform, it has witnessed so many changes in recent years. From using traditional methods like storage of data on paper to the adoption of digital methods, the healthcare industry has grown financially, demographically, and technologically.
With the increasing population and the growth in healthcare consciousness among the public, the demands from the healthcare industry have considerably increased. And these increasing demands have made governments, healthcare firms, and private civic bodies face unprecedented challenges due to the shortage of workforce, finance, and technological processes.
Even full-fledged digitalization of healthcare processes cannot solve the rising demands of the public.
This is where the cloud arrives. The implementation of cloud technology in healthcare institutions has fully transformed the working of healthcare professionals and hospital systems. It has not only bettered patient treatment from before, but it has been a driving force in generating profits and providing a platform for easy data management.
As per West Monroe Partner’s report, around 35 percent of the healthcare institutes admitted to hosting fifty percent of their data on the cloud.
So, here are the ways by which cloud-based technologies have been instrumental in solving healthcare challenges and bettering facilities for doctors and medical staff.
1. Replacing Hardware Resources and Reducing Upfront Costs
In the conventional IT infrastructure, once the storage in the local computers or servers gets filled up, the firm owners have to purchase a new device. Even when there is an increment in the number of users, firms had to get new computer systems to accommodate them.
Due to this, health facility has to undergo unnecessary hassles, which usually hamper the financial workflow with extra expenditures, like hiring IT professionals and other related tools.
One of the prime benefits of leveraging cloud by healthcare institutes is that it gives them options to scale the resources according to their requirements. Scalability is defined as the process of increasing or decreasing server resources like storage, RAM, processing power, etc. With scalable resources, firms don’t have to get new hardware devices. Thus, when a hospital is shifting completely to cloud-based resources, it sure minimizes the usage of on-premise hardware, if not completely diminishing it.
This minimization of hardware resources ensures that healthcare institutes do not spend any extra money on IT related devices. Moreover, with the “pay-as-you-go” model of the cloud provider, companies spend only on the used resources and nothing more than that.
2. Providing Uptime Solutions and Building Patient-Client Communication
Hardware and on-premise IT platforms get strained up after a considerable amount of usage. They require proper maintenance because if they malfunction, the workflow can be hampered that can result in loss of critical data.
Switching to cloud resources can prove to be very beneficial for a healthcare company as far as maintaining the workflow is concerned. The best cloud providers in the market guarantee an uptime as high as 99.999%, ensuring that the workflow is not hampered and the productivity of employees, and workers remain intact, also reducing data redundancies.
Using cloud servers are not only confined to workers and employees of the hospitals. They are useful for the patients as well. Since all the information like patient records and medical images are easily available on the servers, authorities can let patients access them. When patients access such kinds of data, it helps them to make vital decisions related to their health.
3. Accessing Data Remotely and Collaboration Among Teams
Healthcare professionals and doctors have immense responsibilities on their shoulders. From patient consultation to conducting medical research for better results, the responsibilities are on the rise with each passing day. Implementing cloud solutions can decrease the bandwidth of the daily work they are subjected to.
With cloud solutions, they can access their information regarding a patient or a research paper within a spare of minutes. The only requirement is an internet-connected device like a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
Accessing data remotely gives rise to telemedicine capabilities. Through telemedicine or any cloud-based healthcare app, the team of doctors and healthcare professionals can connect through any smart device irrespective of the location they are currently in.
Since it makes document sharing among doctors an easy task, team collaboration and workplace productivity are ultimately increased. Apart from telemedicine capabilities, the cloud also facilitates doctors to connect with their patients by sitting at the comfort of their couch. It increases patient engagement and helps them in recovering from a medical condition.
4. Security From Disasters and Data Breaches
Disasters and data breaches are one of the prime disruptors where workflow and work processes are concerned. In case of disasters, if the data is stored in any hardware resource, there will always be a risk where the data is lost and cannot be retrieved back.
Since the healthcare industry always deals with a large sum of data like diagnostics, laboratories’ readings, patient support, doctor certificates, hampering all the available data can prove to be very lossful for any company or a hospital.
However, if you opt for cloud services, the provider offers data backup in data centers located in multiple geographical locations. Thus, in case of any disaster, if one data center becomes inaccessible, users can always access the data from another data center with the usual log-in credentials. In fact, the best solution providers keep their data in a location which is always free from disasters.
Data breaches are also one of the major barriers which healthcare companies have to face. With rising digitalization, there has been an increase of hackers and cybercriminals, which can put a patient’s recovery or important medicinal research in jeopardy.
Cloud servers are laden with various security metrics like IDS/IPS, firewalls, end-to-end encryption, and so on. Implementation of all these things will keep data breaches at bay and healthcare data safe.
A Final Takeaway
The widespread adoption of cloud technology has resulted in meeting both public and financial demands for the healthcare industry. Doctors, clinicians, laboratory professionals, and even healthcare workers, all are leveraging this technology for work efficiency.
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