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How cloud technology benefits the healthcare system

26th Jun 2018
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Today’s healthcare organizations must focus on much more than their clients’ health. The infrastructure they use is another major concern. As doctors grow more dependent on technology for their clinical, administrative, and financial functions their IT departments and expenditures must keep up. Fortunately, the number of options for reliable IT infrastructure and applications has also grown with the cloud taking center stage over the past few years. By the end of 2018, experts believe over 80% of healthcare facilities will use the cloud.

Electronic Records

Elcom CMS says the cloud is great because it holds medical information from visits to your General Practitioner (GP), medical specialists, allied health professionals, and even your dentists in one place instead of having it in separate locations. This means that all your history, test results, diagnoses, and other relevant information are centrally stored in just one online location, so you can receive more focused and accurate care. Doctors can also easily see your health trends while medical billing systems help hospitals, clinics, and medical practices run much more smoothly.

Better Data Management

RS Websols says the cloud has made it possible for healthcare service providers to store large amounts of data at nominal costs. All this data is now well-organized and safe – something that wasn’t possible in the past, but something that the cloud has now made possible for medical professionals.

Cloud Collaboration

Business Queensland says doctors can now communicate and share information with ease through cloud technology. This allows for various specialists to work on helping a patient. The patient will then receive better care because they won’t be taking competing medications.

Advanced Clinical Research

As medical researchers can share their findings with one another, they can also receive quick feedback to improve on their research without wasting time. Eventually, this will help improve treatments so much that patients will be cured faster.

Integrated and Efficient Patient Care

Fortinet says there are two big, important ways in which the cloud is revolutionizing patient care today:

1) Patients can now play an active role in their own care because they can now have access to their medical records through a patient portal. Most people appreciate this because it can facilitate communication between patients, their medical devices, and their physicians. This is why 73% of medical facilities now use the cloud for this purpose. Some are even providing patients who have chronic conditions (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure) with minimally-invasive wearable devices to monitor their own health. Doctors can then monitor and adjust the treatment plan as necessary.

2) Increasing communication between doctors and their patients also improves outcomes. This is because patients can provide feedback about how treatment plans are working for them so that their doctors can make meaningful improvements. This also allows patients to see and assess if a new treatment plan is right for them. As this information is collected and integrated into the system, doctors can find better treatments for specific conditions in the future. 

Cloud Communication

The business phone system for enterprise makes communication easy. Now medical professionals can use this, along with video, online discussion platforms, and real-time meeting capacities to communicate with one another and advance the spread of knowledge. This also helps make electronic medical records accessible by all relevant departments and care providers, which improves case management, treatments, and patient recovery.

Scalability and Flexibility

Healthcare is an ever-changing environment. Things like regulatory enhancements, financing reform, competition, and clinical quality initiatives, place a lot of external pressures on it. Additionally, there are also other organizations that continually introduce and remove programs, locations, and staff who support various care models. 

Before the cloud was created healthcare facilities were forced into the cycle of trying to keep up with hardware purchases and maintenance to support these changes. However, with the cloud healthcare facilities are now in a better position when it comes to addressing these types of fluctuating demands. 

When a need arises, they can easily scale up their capacity with the simple push of a button. This is also true when they need to scale down. This is a real competitive advantage since every second that’s lost affects patients’ safety and the facility’s budget.

Security and Reliability

Afia Health says that when the cloud is managed well, two of its strongest features is the security and reliability that it affords a healthcare facility. Of course, security is one of the most common reasons doctors don’t feel comfortable moving their data and applications to cloud servers where these things are outside of “their control.” 

Usually, this is because they don’t fully understand how the cloud works. As such, they find themselves worrying about what happens to protected healthcare information if the equipment is lost or potentially damaged because this could cause a breach that could cost them millions of dollars in penalties. 

However, what they don’t realize is that if they’re using the cloud when this happens, they can remotely wipe this information off the computer if it was even stored on there in the first place.

Along with this important element of security, doctors must also realize that the cloud also can increase the reliability of their data’s redundancy and provide them with even more system uptime. The cloud is able to do this through the automation of backups and disaster recovery options. What this means is that a healthcare facility won’t lose data. 

When there’s downtime, the healthcare facility won’t have to worry about this because it’s kept to a minimal – typically only happening when there’s some sort of unforeseen disaster that occurs. Of course, there will also be times when technology breaks down, but when either of these situations does arise the cloud can offer healthcare facilities a variety of ways in which they can continue to be up and running with almost no time lost. 

This is great because in the past healthcare facilities would have to rely on maintaining expensive backup hardware. Their other option was to wait for new equipment to be shipped to them. These things no longer happen with the cloud where almost seamless continuity in service provision is the norm.

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