By Kishore Pendyala
Cloud computing is all the rage these days, especially in the healthcare industry. The adoption of this cutting-edge technological innovation has been accelerating at a breakneck speed. According to one recent report, the global market for cloud technology in healthcare would reach $64.7 billion by 2025. Two-thirds of IT leaders from health systems and hospitals said they now use cloud-based technology, according to data provided by HIMSS Analytics.
According to a 2018 Black Book research, 30% of practices with more than 11 clinicians plan to update their EHR system by 2021. Cloud-based mobile solutions for easy access to data are a major priority for 93% of respondents.
What is Cloud Based EHR?
Data is saved on external servers and may be accessed from any device with an internet connection with cloud-based EHR systems, whereas data is stored on a personal server within the practice with server-based EHR systems. Because the EHR system is managed by Software as a Service (SAAS) provider, the independent practitioner does not have to invest time or money in server setup or maintenance. Updates are also handled by the SAAS provider, saving the medical practice a lot of time and effort.
Drivers for cloud adoption
Healthcare providers generate and collect a large amount of data from a vast array of internal sources, such as electronic health records (EHRs), radiology images, pharmacy sales, prescription information, lab tests, and insurance claims data. The volume of this digital data is growing exponentially every year, majorly due to changes in the payer environment, such as incentives for the meaningful use of EHRs. The effective management of a large volume of data requires significant computing power and IT bandwidth. In the on-premise storage of data, healthcare providers are required to invest more in IT infrastructure with an increase in data load. As a result, on-premise storage is not considered as a viable option for the storage of a large volume of healthcare data. Cloud computing, on the other hand, enables all big data operations through the provision of large storage and processing power. Additionally, cloud-based analytical tools help providers better manage patients by transforming health data into actionable insights.
The combination of wireless technology and the cloud is proving to be a powerful mechanism for delivering health care to remote areas. The adoption of the telecloud is expected to rise in several countries as healthcare providers become more aware of telehealth, providing potential growth opportunities for players in the healthcare cloud computing market.
Benefits of Cloud-Based EHR
- Cloud-based EHR systems make implementation considerably easier. EHR software runs on the web rather than on a computer, thus there is no need to install any hardware or software. With a considerably faster implementation procedure than traditional client-server solutions, practices can avoid cash flow disruption and achieve a faster return on investment.
- Cloud-based EHR systems help practices save a lot of money. The initial expense of EHR installation is one of the most significant barriers for small medical practices. Client-server systems can cost upwards of $40,000 simply to set up, with additional costs for licensing, maintenance, updates, and fixes. Implementation is a fraction of the cost because cloud-based EHR requires no hardware installation or software licenses. As part of a software as a service contract, practices pay a monthly cost similar to a utility bill (SaaS).
- When practices choose to move medical records to the cloud, their IT resource requirements are dramatically reduced. Rather than requiring a team of IT experts to install, configure, test, run, secure, and upgrade hardware and software, the SaaS provider does it all internally in the cloud. Web-based solutions also receive automatic updates, ensuring that practitioners are using the most recent version accessible.
- Web-based software outperforms client-server solutions in terms of accessibility and cooperation since users may securely log in from anywhere with an Internet connection. Physicians, employees, and patients may work more efficiently in a secure environment and provide better continuity of care with the ability to use the system outside of the office.
- Cloud-based systems make scalability easier. Small businesses can expand without experiencing the typical IT growing pains. It’s simple to add additional users, doctors, or locations to a web-based EHR system. Small clinics can dream big and develop without breaking the budget because to the flexibility of web-based software.
Cloud data storage is one of the most dependable ways to handle sensitive data, lessen the burden on on-premises servers, and lower the expenses of maintaining hospital IT systems. There are certain benefits and drawbacks to cloud-based electronic health records, but most of the drawbacks can be avoided if you are aware of the concerns before using EHR software.
Kishore Pendyala has more than 18 years of experience in Healthcare IT domain. He prides himself on understanding the complexities of enterprise business as well as the intricacies of running a small company. He has worn many hats (often at the same time) throughout his career including data analyst, product owner, business analyst, software engineer, team leader, QA engineer, and probably several others he’s forgotten. Out of all of this, he’s discovered his passion is really in identifying simple and effective solutions to the Healthcare Interoperability issues. This has driven his leadership at KPi-Tech Services as CEO and co-founder has proven to be sustainable, and productive for the company.