Regardless of widespread adoption of cloud-based options by most markets, the healthcare industry has actually been slow-moving to welcome cloud computing. While this slow-moving adoption is partially due to issues about safeguarding private patient information and compliance with crucial policies such as HIPAA, lots of healthcare IT departments are just burdened with outdated tradition systems and feel overwhelmed with the prospect of supporting yet another requirement or protocol.
If these obstacles can be gotten rid of, cloud computing solutions can bring remarkable benefits to healthcare organizations as well as help them improve client care and minimize overall healthcare expenses.
For example, cloud computing can help healthcare organizations share information saved throughout uneven information systems in genuine- time and can maximize IT staff to take care of even more crucial tasks in a reliable and affordable way.
In my opinion nonetheless, the most significant advantage of embracing the cloud is the ability to take advantage of a new generation of cutting-edge applications. The cloud levels the playing field for healthcare start-ups and entrepreneurs who formerly could not enter the market due to high barriers to entry-primarily following industry specific protocols.
Today, small teams of software developers have created entirely new markets and revolutionized the way we shop, share and interact with the outside world. One of the key forces behind these innovations has been the ability to exchange data seamlessly between disparate systems powering these applications. Interoperable standards like HTML, XML and JSON enable search engines to index virtually all the content on the Internet and display outcomes in a fraction of a second. They enable websites to alert users when content changes and enable organizations to create add-on applications to existing social networking and communications platforms.
This ability to extend the functionality of existing data is what often leads to new innovation and optimizations; something healthcare IT is desperately in need of. As we understand, unlike other data, healthcare data is strictly private and positions privacy and security issues. As discussed earlier, these concerns have slowed the rate of cloud adoption in the healthcare market but this ought to not discourage organizations to abandon the cloud entirely.
To welcome the cloud, companies must incorporate their existing legacy systems flawlessly and securely with modern web and cloud based services. Those familiar with integration know that this can be a Burden.
Below are some challenges healthcare organizations must keep in mind when integrating with cloud-based solutions:
1. Use Modern Tools— The easiest way to bridge the gap between existing integrations and the new cloud based interfaces is to use tools that are specifically designed to do just that. It might sound obvious, however many organizations attempt to reuse technology from the past– or develop new tools from the ground up– as opposed to accepting technology that was built to integrate using both old and new protocols.
2. Maintain visibility into highly scalable data centers– Conventional healthcare applications have to be installed on individual servers within hospitals. Therefore, the amount of CPU, disk and resources for each application is huge and reduces the efficiency tremendously. On the other hand, a cloud data center is scalable and typically handles millions of transactions per day and has to stay up 24×7. Monitoring all those interfaces can be a difficult task. It is essential to use tools that can assist organizations scale efficiently and still provide visibility into the many feeds.
3. Be flexible – While the idea of everyone adhering to the same standard is a noble concept, in healthcare, it’s a long way off. In order to take advantage of the numerous opportunities and applications available, organizations require to be flexible. That implies being able to accept data ‘as-is’, handle any data format from HL7 to XML and map information on-the-fly. The more efficiently you can send out and get data– from SSL to HTTPS– the more likely you’ll be able to produce a robust, safe technique of exchanging, assessing and presenting data.
Cloud computing can play a critical role in containing healthcare integration costs, optimizing resources and ushering in a new era of innovations. Despite the security and privacy risks, healthcare organizations can certainly take advantage of cloud computing solutions today as long as they enforce best practices.
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