How Should I Take Advantage of Cloud-Based Services?

In September of last year, I wrote a blog titled Choosing a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) concerning the challenges of selecting a cloud service provider. I covered cloud service provider options, questions you should ask, and roles and responsibilities.

Almost one year later, things have continued to evolve. The health care community is now fully embracing the cloud, and the benefits it can provide for their facilities.

Cloud can help provide value-based care

Today is a world of access. The cloud provides easy solutions for provider and patient to have easy access to data whenever and wherever they need it.

Patients are now more involved in their healthcare than ever before. Cloud solutions are the answer to this; they allow patients a more proactive hands-on approach to their health care.

Avoid a potential drain on your facility’s resources

Many healthcare providers are using what we call a “hybrid cloud” (meaning some applications are on a vendor provided cloud, others on a private cloud). There are advantages to using a vendor-provided cloud over a private cloud, however.

When using a vendor-provided cloud service, you are removing the burden of potentially problematic services from the shoulders of your own staff members, saving both time and money on your own IT employees. Take your Electronic Health Record (EHR) for example; an in-house, cloud-based EHR would be quite the drain of both time and money on any facility. A vendor-provided cloud EHR service takes that off the facility’s shoulders, saving time and money.

Your Data and Storage

Radiology is without a doubt one of the departments that has the most to gain from cloud services. Due to the amount of imaging studies that need to be retained for extended periods of time, radiology often has the biggest struggle with storage space.

Fortunately for your radiology department, cloud data storage is becoming less and less expensive. With medical record retention requirements, most of these images must be stored for at least 5 years–that’s a whole lot of data to hang on to! Medical imaging studies can now be stored for as little as 50 cents for a 500 CT study.

This is no longer a solution for the “big guys” in health care but everyone! The best solution is an Enterprise Imaging Solutions (VNA). VNA is the true solution to interoperability. It is not only a solution for medical imaging but for all areas of medical practices and hospitals.

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