What is cloud in the healthcare space?
Advancements in technology have led to an increased number of healthcare businesses implementing electronic health records, patient portals, and mobile health apps. The use of cloud-based technology has changed how these features are managed and allows practices to safely store information and patient data without the need for hardware servers. Before cloud-based technology was used, healthcare practices that implemented electronic features needed to install and maintain physical servers within their clinics, which came with significant costs. Now, this new form of cloud technology allows practices to use remote servers with storage capabilities, eliminating the costs associated with hardware. Because the cloud is a centralized data space, it allows both physicians and patients to connect with and access relevant information at any given time. The vast array of benefits associated with using cloud computing is reflected in the massive growth of the industry, and Black Book Market Research reported that healthcare cloud adoption is 74%.
Key benefits of cloud computing for healthcare
Although the use of cloud computing is not exactly new to the healthcare industry, the extent to which it is being used has been undoubtedly impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This massive growth has begun to indicate the various benefits of using cloud computing, including:
- Communication: It is becoming increasingly important for healthcare providers, patients, and administrative staff to be able to engage with each other in an effective and efficient way. Cloud computing allows important documents and records to be accessed by authorized users instantly, improving communication and collaboration.
- Storage: The amount of data that needs to be collected, stored, and analyzed by healthcare institutions is growing, and cloud computing offers the perfect solution for managing this. With remote servers, clinics no longer have to worry about the storage capacity of internal hardware, with the additional benefit of reducing maintenance- and update-related costs.
- Safety: One of the biggest concerns of healthcare providers that remain skeptical about cloud computing is in relation to security features. Often, they are reluctant to hand over highly confidential patient information to a remote server. However, most healthcare cloud computing systems comply with relevant rules and regulations, including HIPAA guidelines, and have automated backup and recovery options.
5 community health industries that run more efficiently with cloud
In order to adequately deliver health services, hospitals are required to efficiently manage patient flow. Cloud computing facilitates faster and more effective communication between nurses and doctors who work in different departments. Often, patients are transferred between departments during hospital care, and cloud computing improves the flow of patient traffic and continuity of care. These systems allow healthcare providers to stay in constant communication without interrupting their delivery of care.
Cloud computing offers various features that can help optimize physician offices. Physicians often find themselves spending a significant amount of time looking through clinical documentation in order to have all the information required to suitably treat a patient. Cloud computing systems, particularly EHR (electronic health records) internally organize and manage documents, saving physicians significant amounts of time. These documents are also updated in real-time, meaning that physicians will be instantly notified of any important changes.
The impact of COVID-19 and social distancing regulations led to a portion of patients who were unable to physically attend psychologist appointments. Fortunately, cloud computing systems often integrate with telehealth features like secure video conferencing that allows patients and psychologists to connect with each other remotely. Additionally, these systems also frequently include patient portals that give clients direct access to their own medical records, appointment schedules, and payment information. These tools streamline communication methods and allow psychologists to connect with their patients at any time, from anywhere.
Although many dentistry practices still use some form of in-house servers, research is beginning to show that those who transition to cloud computing are reaping significant benefits. Dentists can upload scans, images, and records onto the cloud where they can be viewed by other providers and patients. Many dentistry practices that use cloud computing are also noticing a massive reduction in costs, as they no longer have to pay maintenance or installation fees. With cloud computing, dentists can optimize their productivity, saving time and resources that can instead be spent seeing and treating new patients.
Once again, the transition to cloud computing for occupational therapists has been slower than for other industries within healthcare, but we are beginning to see a higher implementation rate, particularly following COVID-19. Occupational therapists are able to use secure video conferencing features and deliver their services to patients remotely. Cloud computing also offers virtual monitoring devices, which allows therapists to track the progress of their patients whilst maintaining a safe distance.
Cloud computing in healthcare as the future of the industry
Research on the adoption of cloud computing in healthcare has revealed it is one of the strongest current trends. The number of different industries that have implemented cloud computing into their clinics indicates the extent of the advantages that this type of technology has. Managing how to securely share and transfer data between different electronic systems is a concern that can now be eliminated, as cloud computing offers a centralized platform that spans individuals, departments, and facilities. Furthermore, not only does cloud computing facilitate more effective communication and positive clinical outcomes, but it will save healthcare practices significant amounts of money. If you choose to adopt a cloud system, the most complicated aspect of setting it up is transferring your pre-existing data onto the new platform. However, you don’t have to pay the massive installation and maintenance fees that are associated with in-house servers. Instead, your practice will pay a monthly fee to the remote server that you choose, and they externally manage all updates and maintenance issues.
Take home message
It is clear to see the vast benefits associated with using a cloud computing system, regardless of what field of healthcare you work in. The biggest decision you now need to make is what software best suits your business needs - and that’s where we can help! Carepatron offers a highly affordable integrated platform that will allow your practice to organize and store all of its clinical documentation and patient records. Additionally, the system offers other tools designed to improve clinical outcomes and patient care, including a client portal, secure video conferencing, and a sophisticated EHR system. Adopting Carepatron’s software will allow your practice to join in the movement to better the healthcare industry, offering patients a more accessible, comprehensive form of care.