In today’s highly connected technological world, information moves at the speed of light and people expect businesses to keep up. While healthcare IT can face unique challenges in transitioning to the latest technology, including cloud-based services, there are innumerable benefits to patients and to organizations in leveraging the cloud for healthcare information of all kinds. Not only can the cloud help hospitals, specialists, and local offices use connected information to provide better care for their patients, moving into the cloud can also reduce costs. Plus, new offerings can connect with other technology patients already use.The following are just some of the benefits that moving to the cloud in healthcare can provide for both patients and practitioners alike.
1. Improved Collaboration Among Practitioners
While electronic medical records are now the norm, moving to the cloud allows the full use of those records for collaboration by medical practitioners. Whether in sharing test results, imaging scans and pictures, or other patient information, the cloud allows providers to access pertinent information instantly to provide for more accurate diagnosis and overall patient care. This not only helps practitioners who are all working with a particular patient, but can better facilitate shared knowledge that is helpful in remote and emergency relief operations.
2. Better Patient-Provider Collaboration
In addition to collaboration among providers, cloud-based healthcare IT gives patients access to more information and allows providers and patients to work together to achieve greater success. With medical records and other data in the cloud, healthcare providers can access historical data to inform decisions, while patients can access information from their medical records and notes from past visits to inform their own knowledge of their health. Additionally, more communication between patients and providers can help with prevention and overall health.
3. Patient Empowerment
Not only does the cloud allow for patient-provider collaboration, but leveraging the cloud can empower patients to take control of their own health. From syncing data from wearable fitness technology to utilizing cloud-based health applications, patients can see their own progress and connect it to the information provided by their healthcare team.
4. Lower Costs
Not only does moving healthcare IT to the cloud help practitioners provide better care and empower patients, but such a move can significantly lower costs. Moving to the cloud reduces the need for in-house data storage, saving both space used for servers and the cost of running and maintaining an internal data network. Additionally, moving to the cloud lowers costs by reducing the need for repeated tests or procedures by granting access to results across a patient’s care team.
5. Providing Advances in Clinical Research
With greater utilization of the cloud comes the potential for big data analysis. Patient data can be aggregated into giant data sets to help further clinical research. From developing new drugs, to understanding widespread diseases, to developing solutions to public health crises, big data in healthcare IT makes progress possible.
Benefits Outweigh Challenges
Moving to the cloud in healthcare IT has a number of challenges, including the need to secure the privacy of patient information and ensure compatibility with existing infrastructure. However, with benefits for patients, providers, and organizations’ bottom lines, the benefits far outweigh these challenges.