October 3, 2017 — Healthcare information technology (IT) experts at Logicalis Healthcare Solutions say in a new whitepaper that now is the time for healthcare organizations to develop IT cloud strategies for deployment of critical patient care applications and provider administrative systems. The paper identifies five reasons why healthcare providers need a strong cloud strategy now for employees, partners and patients (also the title of the paper).
“Physicians providing remote cardiac consultation via telehealth and surgeons overseeing delicate operations from half a world away are some of the glamorous capabilities of the healthcare cloud that get headlines, but the ability for teams of healthcare researchers to share clinical trial data with regions that would otherwise lack the proper infrastructure are just as important,” said Mike Riley, U.S. healthcare leader, Logicalis Healthcare Solutions. “Some providers have been deploying cloud-based apps and access for a while and others are just beginning to get into the conversation because of new applications that fit well into cloud architectures. Wherever the starting point, it requires assessing on-premises capabilities and performance as well as identifying new requirements.
Any healthcare provider – large or small, suburban or rural, assisted living or long-term care – needs to consider the strategic impact that the cloud brings to multiple aspects of their healthcare operations and patient care, according to Logicalis. While the cost-effectiveness of the cloud is undeniable for certain applications such as storage and backups, there are many other considerations beyond simple cost-saving discussions:
- Patient and caregiver demands. Patients and their caregivers demand new capabilities for tracking and delivering care, like personal medical records and telehealth. These applications are proving mature enough to put increasing pressure on healthcare IT organizations to deploy them sooner, rather than later, in their organizations.
- Imaging and research data options. When it comes to the accessibility and sharing of medical images, patient records and research data such as genomics – especially among research hospitals – the sheer volume of data and incumbent storage requirements are forcing healthcare IT professionals to consider more cost-effective solutions, such as local storage for frequently accessed patient images and off-site, cloud storage for less-frequently accessed images or data.
- Mergers, acquisitions and partnerships. Healthcare organizations continue to pursue mergers, acquisitions and other types of partnerships that will bolster coordinated, cost-effective care. Disparate systems can take months to connect and share data, while a more flexible architecture in the cloud can enable healthcare IT organizations to accelerate M&A activities in weeks.
- Speed of trials and deploying new apps. Cloud-based apps can be an attractive solution for healthcare providers that want to try new applications, make quick software changes or get to market fast with a new solution. It is much faster, and more cost-effective, to spin up a new virtual cloud system than stand up your own data center environment.
- Business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR). The paper adds that while backups are important, the cloud offers a much more robust and scalable environment for planning and delivering business continuity options. Hybrid on-premises and off-site private cloud systems enable healthcare organizations to take advantage of local and off-site storage depending on the type of disaster recovery necessary.
In 2012, Logicalis developed its own private cloud for hospital applications like workforce management. Today, the company is helping hospitals develop cloud strategies, then migrating and managing workloads either in their cloud, or in public health clouds like [Microsoft] Azure and AWS [Amazon Web Services].
For more information: www.us.logicalis.com