Many years ago, the medical industry rejoiced when it shifted from untidy papers to clunky computers: Ah, finally, now all patient information won't get lost in a sea of papers; I’ll find it all in my computer.
Fast-forward a couple of decades to the ‘now’: these slow computers feel obsolete when compared to the cloud, where instant access to records and data is possible without on-premise hardware storage and maintenance.
How has the cloud influenced the health and medical industry?
The following quote, from this study and cited in this article is incredibly important, because it tells us that medical organisations are not only aware of the benefits of the cloud for their industry, but are actually implementing and experiencing cloud-based data management, access, and storage.
The study found that:
“83% of IT healthcare organizations are currently using cloud services, 9.3% plan to, and 6% do not intend to adopt cloud-based applications … In aggregate, 92% of healthcare providers now and in the future see the value of cloud services for their organizations.”
Cloud technology allows us to rent only the storage we need
A major benefit for medical organisations is also one of the most coveted: that cloud computing is a cost-effective means to store and access business (and in this case, patient) data.
In the cloud, you pay for only the storage you need, and can easily scale up or down as needs change.
Cloud computing in the medical industry eases staffing challenges
Major medical practitioners or clinics might have the capacity for a dedicated IT team to manage and service their on-premise hardware, but what about the smaller businesses? If your heath or medical practice is not in the position for a dedicated IT manager or team, the cloud can help solve these staffing challenges.
Don’t let a small team hinder you from utilising the cloud to its greatest potential.
Healthcare cloud services result in lower maintenance costs
Cloud storage and deployment is often a more affordable choice for many industries, because you only pay for the storage you need.
You also save on IT costs and hardware maintenance; your cloud computing company keeps the hardware up-to-date and secure at all times.
What about privacy?
Of course, the obvious factor that instils a bit of fear and hinders confidence is the concept of privacy and security, most notably unauthorised access to data or loss of sensitive information.
This is, absolutely, something you need to address! But oftentimes it comes down to the cloud computing provider that you choose – which is why it is so important to do your research.
Choosing a reputable, well-known, and trustworthy company is just the first step – you should ask as many questions as you can, especially when it comes to cloud computing for the medical industry.
Particularly for sensitive and personal data, security is paramount. As Cloud Standards Customer Council’s guide Impact of Cloud Computing on Healthcare (2012) states, security may need to be “enhanced in the existing IT infrastructure” as well as in “the underlying cloud monitoring and management process”. (Read the full guide here.)
Who can use the cloud in healthcare?
Organise a cloud computing consultation
Sometimes it feels like the technological world is moving at such a pace that we can scarcely keep up! And the cloud is a driving force of this feeling. It changes the way medical and healthcare organisations work because it allows them the freedom to access their own secured data… without the need to manage and maintain their own hardware or infrastructure.
If you’re in the healthcare or medical industry and considering the cloud, get the right advice from Telstra cloud experts. You can organise a cloud computing consultation by filling in the form on this page or calling us today: 1300 66 44 22.