The norm has been for tech vendors to influence what would be the next phase of integrated information which would be channeled between patients, doctor, providers and payers. However, with technology and the cloud continuing to evolve, there is a sense that the time has come to move away from tech vendors deciding the direction healthcare will take. Instead, healthcare can prepare for the future through next-gen cloud computing.
The Notable Shift with Healthcare Clouds
Writer Bill Siwicki from Healthcare IT News recently took a look at how healthcare clouds are changing and that the next generation can do much more than simply store data. This notable shift sees healthcare clouds going from simply storing data to utilizing technology to gain efficiencies, lower costs as well as moving on to tasks like taking patient care and personalizing it.
Reportedly, research by Black Book discovered that ninety-three percent of hospital CIOs are diligently acquiring their staff to support, configure and manage a HIPAA-compliant cloud infrastructure. This is occurring while service offerings of vendors of cloud technology such as IBM Cloud, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud and particularly Microsoft Azure, are changing constantly. Also, the Black Book survey reports ninety-one percent of CIOS state cloud computing allows more nimble, agile products and services with the addition of healthcare information.
Preparing for the Changing Cloud Landscape
Since healthcare CIOs as well as other executives need to prepare for a cloud landscape that will be changing, it is important to recognize areas where change will be coming in soon. The next cloud generation will have to focus on security and blockchain when proceeding forward with healthcare organization clients and cloud technology vendors alike.
Black Book President, Doug Brown, said that the cloud provider must ensure through regulatory audits that physical security requirements are effectively met, therefore, they are employing strict facility and asset access controls through a combination of biometric and token-based security protocols. Besides security, several EHRs that exist in the same health system would result in issues in patient safety and patient identification.
Additionally, the promise of utilizing Blockchain technology for records and security is becoming riper, with the possibility of melding into the cloud. According to Brown, the need for cybersecurity measures has never been more critical, and it’s organic in the evolution of healthcare cloud computing. As more hospitals get serious about their unique needs for increased governance, risk management and business continuity measures, national organizations are working to see how Blockchain could be best applied and are about to open the floodgates.
State of the Art and Real-time Data
Brian Owens is the chief tech officer and CIO at Bendcare, which is a national rheumatology group practice that utilizes Cloud technology from CareCloud. Brian stated that moving forward into cloud computing’s next generation, healthcare organizations must embrace the fact that state of the art patient care needs state of the art information in real-time.
According to Owens, simply put, forward-thinking healthcare organizations must embrace technology at every point of the patient’s care. Specifically, those web-based technologies that allow us to comprehensively engage at the clinical level with the provider and the patient. This must include EHR strategies certainly but should also extend to complementary mobile applications and Internet-based access points that integrate information from the entire clinical ecosystem to capture and support the needs of the patient.
Also, he feels that hospitals must commit to sharing of information and partnering in data, considering the information is out there, however, many times in the healthcare industry the information is incomplete, fragmented and siloed. He explained that this means finding ways to obtain, integrate and channel information from the physician, pharmacies, insurance companies, test providers, and even the patients themselves to create a holistic view of the patient journey. In addition to building and managing our own infrastructures and tools, we must create partnerships that allow information to deliver value in ever greater and ever more creative and immediate ways.
While Siwicki’s article mention other things that need consideration with the changing cloud landscape, it is obvious that the norm of letting tech vendors dictate the next phase of integrated information will soon become obsolete. Instead, healthcare can prepare on their own what the future will bring through next-gen cloud computing.