Cloud Computing in Healthcare

Cloud computing is the use of a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage, and process data, instead of a local server or a personal computer.

Healthcare cloud computing is a cloud computing service used by healthcare providers to store, maintain and back up personal health information. With technology becoming more popular, the healthcare industry which previously lagged behind is now prominent in the use of cloud computing to generate, consume, store and share health data. From previously relying on conventional data storage to digitalization of healthcare data, the medical sector has made significant progress in optimizing digital data management.

According to the West Monroe Partner’s report, 35 percent of healthcare organizations reviewed held more than 50% of data or infrastructure in the cloud. Healthcare has proved to be ahead of other industries in cloud adoption; an impressive fact owing to their reluctance in the past

Healthcare’s adoption of cloud computing is not confined to data storage, the sector is utilizing cloud computing to achieve wide spread functions within the medical system, achieving efficiency, increase in work flows, lower cost of operation as well as help draft care plans to improve quality of services.

Impact of Cloud Computing in Healthcare

Using cloud computing in healthcare has brought lots of benefits. It has impacted on the sector immensely. It cut down operational costs and gave providers the opportunity to deliver high quality personalized care to patients. Generally, patients have embraced technology, letting go of their initial skepticism. Today, patients are pleased at the rapid healthcare response they receive due to technology. Cloud gives patients the grounds to be more involved in their health plan by granting easier access to their own healthcare data. Patients are able to keep in touch with relevant information in their healthcare plan without reverting to the facility for a simple processing. Cloud has broken the location barriers that used to limit and frustrate healthcare.

Here are the ways Cloud Computing is impacting Healthcare

1. Lowering Costs: Cloud computing is saving costs for healthcare providers. Previously, hospitals and healthcare providers needed to purchase hardware and services, hire in-house IT operators to manage their data. But this changed with cloud computing. No upfront charges are associated with cloud storage of data. You only pay for the resources you actually used which cuts costs tremendously. Providers of cloud based healthcare solutions bear the brunt of administration, construction and maintenance of cloud data storage services helping healthcare providers have reduced initial costs.

2. Efficiency in Medical Record Keeping: Cloud computing increased healthcare efficiency in storage and processing of medical data of patients and staff at large. Many healthcare facilities have had the government mandate to incorporate cloud computing into their data management, making it a wife spread efficiency tool. Cloud computing in healthcare aims at improving the quality, safety and efficiency of medical services.

It aims to improve the quality of patients and their families’ engagement, improving relationship between patients and their carers and facilitate care procedures. At the same time cloud computing aims to improve privacy and safety of patients. The giant success of cloud computing made many healthcare facilities to abandon paper use of medical data management. Medical data is now conviniently stored in the cloud, updated by physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers.

3. Facilitates Collaborative Patient Care: In the past, a patient had separate files of medical records at each doctor, hospital, specialist they visited. This made it difficult for doctors to collaborate in treatment of the patient. Cloud computing now facilitates collaboration among healthcare providers. They are now able to share information with each other concerning a patient’s healthcare thereby improving the quality of care the patient receives.

4. Offers Superior Data Security: When paper recording was used in healthcare data management, there was the risk of thefts, manipulation or damage to patients’ files physically stored in cabinets. This was a huge concern to patient’s safety and privacy. Using cloud computing in healthcare has changed the scenario. Now, providers have been able to outsource data storage and security to HIPAA-Compliant Cloud Storage services. These services offer data storage of patient EMRs that satisfies the legal mandate requirement for data security and privacy. Cloud ensures that providers can access a data storage solution tgat guarantees patients’ privacy and safety.

5. Helps Drive Data Interoperability: Cloud computing promotes interoperability between connected medical devices and the various systems and applications responsible for storing patient data. As healthcare advances in digitalization of its data management, interoperability will increase. This will be more prominent and beneficial if developers are very committed to developing advanced wearable connected devices, mobile healthcare applications and electronic medical records that can interface freely and facilitate quick data transfer and analysis for better patient outcome.

6. Prepares Grounds for Big Data Application: Keeping track of patients’ medical information used to be cumbersome when it was done on papers. Cloud computing has made  keeping track of patients’medical gistoymuch easier. This has opened grounds for “big data” application to improve patient outcome. With cloud, patients’ medical files can be traced and possible health crisis in a community can be detected on time and prevented before it unleashes.

Cloud computing in healthcare can only make things better both for the providers and patients. Definitely, hospitals and patients are able to cope better during pandemic due to technology and the use of cloud computing. It took away lots of hours that would have been wasted while processing a patients’ medical history. It helps keep patients under the Remote Health Monitors to ensure help is within their reach in the shortest possible time.

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