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Benefits of Cloud Storage in Healthcare

Article Written by Deney Dentel, CEO at Nordisk Systems, Inc.

Every day, cloud storage and other cloud-based services are becoming employed by healthcare organizations. During the past year, there has been a huge increase in interest that these organizations showed towards the potential of cloud storage and cloud computing in general. At the same time, many already started moving their applications related to healthcare to different cloud platforms.

A survey that was recently conducted by HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management System), a global organization dedicated to worldwide healthcare related studies, found out that cloud computing was adopted by more than 83% of medical organizations. The same report concluded that around 67% of these are apps and services based on the SaaS (Software as the service) platforms.

This trend definitely shows a changing way in which healthcare industry uses and outsources its IT needs. Now, the same industry is moving to a digital option of conducting everyday operations, focusing more on patients, and becoming more data driven. Big companies like Philips, Microsoft and Verizon are already offering their cloud storage solutions to the healthcare industry while global data shows that these provide a bigger support for sharing and the accessibility of healthcare-related data. Let us examine some of the most important benefits that come from cloud storage and similar cloud-based services.

Data analytics: Because of the fact that modern healthcare is more and more interested in analyzing patient data, cloud storage is the perfect means of sharing this information with a big group of experts, but also computer analytic software. The same software can provide calculations that can both save costs and save lives of these patients. This fact alone is a great reason to introduce cloud storage into any healthcare institution.

Mobility: One of the key benefits of cloud storage is mobility, where the cloud infrastructure can be used as a backbone highway that provides easy access to all sorts of data and information. This data could be coming from any medical organization and medical personnel can access it using a range of different devices.

Security: Forming an IT infrastructure that uses cloud storage offers an additional layer of protection. Unlike local solutions that are based on physical servers which have to be located in secure server rooms, cloud storage already provides an insulated environment. This makes the use of cloud-based solution really valuable to those healthcare organizations which already had issues regarding lost or compromised data.

Collaboration with patients: Patient records can be, through the use of cloud storage, available to healthcare professionals located anywhere, but also at any time. The same cuts down the time for things like the initial diagnosis, but also provides patients with a simple access to their medical history. There are several examples of how this works in reality.

Physician Collaboration Solutions (PCS) - these are used to facilitate the process of remote consultation and care that is being administered, which means patients can be visited remotely. This also provides a way of holding a video conference, so a single physician can cover more patients in a bigger area (sometimes also called "tele-health solution")

Health Information Exchange (HIE) - using this method and cloud storage, healthcare information can be shared and forwarded to all organization in the same system, including medical institutions in a region, a wider community of healthcare services or even a single hospital system.

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) - this process allows for storing of data for a specific patient or a population group. With this option, healthcare organizations have a better chance of following and understanding the medical issues of the same patients or groups of patients.

Collaboration among peers: Using cloud services and cloud storage is a way to provide medical assistance to many different kinds of medical workers, including doctors working in the field or those who are located in remote areas. For example, in Boston Children Hospital, the first cloud-based system for education is helping out a lot of pediatricians all over the globe. With the help of IBM technology, this spread of knowledge was enabled in Boston and others can follow in the same manner.

As organizations that operate in the healthcare industry continue to assess their opportunities and risks that are associated with cloud storage, but at the same time, they should be aware that their competitors are doing the same. There is no doubt that a migration process to the cloud storage and cloud services is eventually inevitable, so every organization should do its best to embrace its substantial possibilities.

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About the Author

Deney Dentel is the CEO at Nordisk Systems, Inc., an open & unified storage and cloud computing service provider company in Portland, OR. Deney is the only localized and authorized  IBM business partner in Pacific Northwest.

Published Thursday, April 23, 2015 7:10 AM by David Marshall
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