Healthcare information systems (HIS) are essential for any healthcare organization to manage and store information and provide quality care to patients. However, the cost of managing these systems in-house can be a significant burden on healthcare organizations. Other challenges associated with managing HIS in-house may include compliance with regulations, maintaining necessary hardware and software infrastructure, and providing ongoing support and training to staff. As a result, many organizations are turning to cloud migration to cut costs and improve efficiency.
Moving an organization’s data and applications from on-premises servers to cloud-based servers is about transitioning to a scalable and robust IT platform that can create new growth opportunities and increase clinical and financial value. Cloud-based solutions also offer healthcare providers the agility and flexibility needed to change the way that care is delivered and share information more easily. According to Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), “cloud solutions are an extension of a healthcare organization’s communications infrastructure and connectivity should easily ‘scale up,’ as more applications are moved to the cloud.”
Five Benefits of Cloud MigrationHealthcare leaders and CIOs are under constant pressure to develop efficient ways to maximize their resources and lower expenses to meet the changing demands of the market. In this regard, cloud migration can help in multiple ways.
- Lower Cost: Setting up the necessary hardware and software infrastructure needed for HIS like servers, storage devices, etc., and regularly maintaining and upgrading them can be costly. By migrating to the cloud, healthcare organizations can eliminate the need to purchase and maintain expensive hardware and software infrastructure, hire dedicated IT staff, and provide ongoing training and support. Instead, the cloud provider takes care of the underlying infrastructure, maintenance, and security, and healthcare organizations only pay for the services they use. This can result in significant cost savings, which can be reinvested in improving patient care and outcomes.
- Scalability and Flexibility: Cloud-based HIS are designed to be scalable and flexible, which means organizations can easily scale up or down based on their needs, while only paying for what they use. This can help organizations avoid overprovisioning and wasting resources. For example, if a healthcare organization experiences a sudden increase in patient volume, it can quickly scale up its cloud-based systems to accommodate the additional demand. Similarly, if patient volume decreases, they can scale down their systems to reduce costs.
- Access to the Latest Technology: Cloud providers invest heavily in the latest technology and security measures. By migrating to the cloud, healthcare organizations can benefit from the latest technology without the need to invest in it themselves. This can be especially important for small and mid-sized organizations that may not have the resources to invest in the latest technology.
- Enhanced Data Security: Data security is a critical concern for healthcare organizations as the sensitive nature of medical data makes it a target for cybercriminals. Cloud providers are experts in data security and implement robust security measures to protect against cyber threats. Healthcare organizations can benefit from these security measures, which can be otherwise costly to implement in-house. Additionally, in the event of a failure or cyberattack, hospital data, and systems can be backed up using remote cloud deployments to prevent any breach of critical patient data.
- Easier Access to Data: In comparison to data stored locally, cloud-based patient medical data can be more easily accessed by authorized users, facilitating interoperability and collaboration amongst healthcare providers working in various locations and making way for a more personalized customer experience. This can be especially useful in cases where a patient has multiple providers, such as a primary care physician, specialist, and pharmacist. Cloud-based solutions can safely break down data silos and release information that is beneficial to both the patient and the provider.