Is healthcare finally looking to the Cloud? In recent years, healthcare has been one of the slower adopters of Cloud technology, with concerns about the privacy of patient data and other sensitive information causing healthcare providers to shy away from adopting Cloud technology.
All that could be changing. According to a report by Markets to Markets, the Cloud computing market in North America could grow to as large as $6.5 billion by 2018, as more businesses in the healthcare sector are seeing the benefits the Cloud has to offer them.
As the Cloud matures, Cloud services become not only more stable and reliable but more secure, providing a good foundation for healthcare businesses who want to start using Cloud technology.
What are some of the ways the Cloud can change the healthcare sector for the better?
More Effective Handling of Information
A great deal of work in the healthcare industry relies on fast and accurate movement of information. There are prescriptions to be filled, surgeries to be timetabled, patient records to be passed between physicians, lab results to log and medical billing to undertake.
Working in the Cloud means information can be securely stored and made available to those who need to access it from anywhere with an internet connection.
This encourages collaboration and discourages duplication of data or errors due to lost or missing data, or data that doesn’t arrive in a timely fashion.
Collaboration is Easier with the Cloud
Placing information in the Cloud means it can be shared across disciplines in real-time, making it far easier for healthcare providers to collaborate.
For example, a physiotherapist could gain access to relevant medical notes for a patient without having to submit information requests or wait for notes to arrive, speeding up the process of offering appropriate treatment.
This has benefits from lab to bedside, ensuring that important information is always available to those who need it, no matter where they are.
The Cloud also makes it possible for healthcare providers to collaborate via remote conferences and the like, cutting down on traveling time and making it easier to schedule meetings.
That means a more efficient way of working where important information can be accessed and decisions made more swiftly, cutting down on bottlenecks and delays.
Reaching More Patients at a Lower Cost
Using the Cloud can have significant benefits for physicians treating patients in remote areas.
For patients in remote areas, especially elderly or infirm patients who need transport provided for them, the costs of providing healthcare can be steep.
By using the Cloud, a certain amount of discussion and advice can be given without the need for face to face meetings, whether that is discussion with a patient or between two healthcare physicians, such as a general practitioner and a specialist.
Financial Benefits for Service Users
As the piece “How Life Changes Impact Health Insurance” points out, the advent of the Affordable Care Act means that finding appropriate health insurance is more important than ever.
Service users may find that the Cloud has a positive impact on their finances – using the Cloud means less investment in physical hardware and technology, making operations lighter and easier to run and reducing upfront costs. These savings could eventually be passed to service users in the form of reduced premiums.
As the Cloud matures, the healthcare industry stands to gain a lot by adopting it.
Faster, smoother operations mean less waste and better allocation of resources in every corner of the industry.
The Cloud can help get the healthcare industry in top shape with cost-effective solutions that benefit providers and patients alike.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as Cloud computing, business growth, healthcare insurance, and hospital management.