Patient care is the top priority for the healthcare industry—from boardrooms to operating rooms, healing patients is the goal. This is why a shift to the cloud can be a game-changer. IT changes have long made the old guard nervous, but as COVID taught us, remaining agile is no longer a choice but a requirement and that starts with digital infrastructure.
A recent study from McKinsey found that cloud capabilities have the potential to generate between $100 billion and $170 billion in value by 2030 for healthcare companies. Many of the holdups for digital transformation can be because IT infrastructure is often the last place leadership is willing to invest time and money. Most of the systems have suffered for years under “good enough” patches made to an existing system. The security and accessibility challenges that this cause has become more apparent than ever before with confirmed data breaches in the healthcare industry increasing by 58% in 2020.
Concerns about compliance, security, and potential downtime can be at the forefront of everyone’s mind with cloud transformations often taking between 24 and 36 months to be fully realized. However, the benefits can be seen right away and fortunately, the cloud provides the most secure place for the most sensitive personal data. Accessible data collection and transmission allows caretakers to provide better treatment to patients—ultimately protecting them from a variety of things that could get in the way. Here are three ways that cloud computing can enhance patient treatment:
1. Availability and accessibility of treatment.
Virtual care is utilized 38 times more now than before the pandemic, in fact, the Department of Health and Human Services reported 52.7 million telehealth appointment in 2020. With a cloud-based approach to treatment, patients can get the appointments they need no matter where they are, which also increases the availability of options for rural areas. Doctors can use the cloud to securely see patients and access data that may be needed. In fact, with the growth of smartwatches and tracking devices, physicians are also able to access patient-generated data to gain insight and make the most informed plan for treatment.
2. Data collection and transmission.
One of the most common complaints about healthcare experiences is the amount of time spent waiting. From waiting in a doctor’s office for a visit to awaiting test results, minutes can feel like days in these tense moments. And for healthcare workers, the time spent manually collecting patient data from previous physicians and recent tests, can be the nuisance that eats up most of their days. By having a centralized system with providers can upload and share files across a secure cloud platform, physicians can spend more time reviewing and less time hunting for the needed information. Once a decision has been made, the doctor can then transmit treatment plans directly to those that need to know, whether that be another specialist or pharmacist, further reducing the amount of time that patients who need immediate care can receive it fast.
3. Insight-driven treatment.
The cloud does more than just store data—it aggregates it and when used correctly, can be mined to find innovative solutions. Since the beginning of time doctors have used their previous experience with similar cases to determine personalized treatment plans for patients. But now, with a wealth of data at their disposal, new insights and patterns can be seen. It’s no longer just the one doctor’s experience but the entirety of the global physician pool treating this patient, pooling their knowledge to enhance the treatment that a patient receives.
Utilizing software-as-a-service (SaaS) products and housing patient information in the cloud can help the healthcare sector better treat patients from the time they need treatment and beyond. With secure storage, investing in IT infrastructure transformations keeps healthcare providers agile and ready for connected, fully integrated digital healthcare.