Cloud computing has become the backbone of growth across numerous industries. Its transformative potential has been proven year after year. Furthermore, cloud computing is projected to continue growing steadily in the years to come.
You may be wondering how this is relevant to the healthcare industry in particular. For instance, how does cloud computing work for hospitals? How can it help bring healthcare to another level? What are its overall benefits?
These are important questions to consider. Let’s start by briefly going over what cloud computing is, and then discuss how it works for hospitals specifically.
What Is Cloud Computing?
In essence, cloud computing is a system with abundant data processing potential. Not only does it allow you to store massive amounts of data in the “cloud,” but it also makes it possible to process this data as needed.
In general, using a cloud computing system makes it easy for businesses to collect data, analyze it, and improve accordingly. With these significant benefits, businesses have been able to revolutionize their procedures and become more efficient and effective in both day-to-day and high-priority work.
However, as with all things in life, it is important to use your assets to their fullest potential. Naturally, the same goes for cloud computing—and the first step toward making the best of it is finding the right managed service provider.
Exploring Cloud Computing Managed Service Providers
Setting up an in-house cloud computing system is very challenging. The whole process requires hiring (and paying) a full team of people to establish and maintain the system—not to mention the costs for hardware. For these reasons, it is typically a much better option to select a qualified cloud computing service provider that is already available. The important thing is choosing the best one for you.
It is essential to be thorough in your research process, as you will work with this new provider over an extended period of time. Ask the right questions; you’ll need to dig deep and check the provider’s history, who their current partners are, how long they’ve been in business, and what their prices are. With this approach, finding the right provider becomes much easier, as you can use the answers to these questions to match your needs.
Benefits of Cloud Computing in Healthcare
Once you have chosen a provider and begun to implement cloud computing services in your practice or hospital, you will see the benefits unfold. Things like data accessibility and lowered costs will start to take effect, assisting you in running your healthcare-related procedures in a much more efficient manner. Let’s discuss these benefits in more detail.
1. Data Becomes Easily Accessible
No matter the size of the hospital you are looking to shift to the cloud, there is going to be a lot of data to process. This includes (but is not limited to) staff data, patient data, and inventory status. Fortunately, working in the cloud makes it much easier to access and actively update this data from devices within the hospital. Whether the staff is using computers, tablets, or smartphones, they can reach and adjust important information whenever they need to.
Furthermore, cloud computing makes data segmentation easy to set up. Not all employees will have the clearance to access confidential patient information, so it is helpful to group certain types of data together based on level of clearance and other similar parameters. Provided that cloud data security best practices are followed, all the data stored in the cloud should remain secure.
2. Scalability Becomes an Option
Every business goes through phases of growth. Sometimes these take time, while in other cases, they come and go quickly. Healthcare is no different. Regardless, it is important to be able to scale up or down easily based on your current situation. This is, perhaps, one of the greatest benefits of cloud computing.
Scalability allows you to customize your cloud computing system depending on your needs. For example, as more hospitals become a part of a big company, cloud computing makes adding data a more straightforward process, as you can always just request more storage to be added to your cloud system. No matter the level of growth your hospital may be in, cloud computing should give you options to size your data storage up or down accordingly.
3. Costs Are Cut Down
There are several ways in which cloud computing in healthcare helps keep a hospital’s costs down. Consider these examples:
With tons of documents needed to be filled out, the administration can often be bottlenecked with too much work. However, with a cloud system, every employee can quickly add relevant information directly to the system.
There’s also no need for information to be passed down from a doctor to a nurse who enters the information into the database. A doctor can immediately update the information while working with a patient. The same applies to other business processes; cloud computing takes the role of an efficient middleman wherever necessary.
Additionally, paper costs will go down significantly as it is going to be used much less.
Furthermore, scalability is important for keeping cloud costs optimal. The bigger your needs are in terms of storage and number of cloud system users, the bigger the costs are going to be. But, it is also possible to make the system smaller when needed, which will drive the price down.
Last but not least, as cloud computing automates many processes, it is clear that employee restructuring might be necessary. This will make the whole workforce more efficient, which will drive costs down in the long run.
4. Smooth Collaboration Becomes the New Normal
As the system is integrated and all the data is migrated to the cloud, smoother collaboration can ensue on all levels.
For example, after finishing an examination, with only a couple of clicks, the doctor can request lab work and send the patient to the lab. Once the patient is in the lab, the other employees already know what needs to be done; once everything is finished and the results are in, they are added to the patient’s digital chart where the doctor can take a look.
If you take into consideration that processes like these are performed hundreds or even thousands of times daily, it is clear how much cloud computing in healthcare plays an important role. Every opportunity for smoother-running processes is helpful, and cloud computing works to offer these opportunities on multiple levels.
Let Scale Help
Keeping up with the latest technology trends also increases healthcare IT needs. However, this is where cloud computing works best.
It all comes down to being prepared for the future. As new technologies emerge, staying competitive is imperative. And, as that can be only achieved through efficiency, we urge you to begin your cloud computing journey today.
Scale Technology is here to help. If you’d like to learn more about cloud computing for your hospital or practice, give us a call at (501) 213-3814 or request a consultation today. We look forward to hearing from you!