The cloud is one of the top trends in the medical world, and rightly so. The cloud offers many benefits for healthcare providers, such as increased flexibility, cost savings, and convenience. However, some challenges are associated with migrating data and applications to the cloud.
In this article, we discuss some of these benefits and challenges so that you can decide whether migrating your data and applications to the public or private cloud may be suitable for your organization.
Cloud infrastructure is a more flexible, scalable, cost-effective, and secures way to run your IT services. In other words, it’s the right choice for healthcare providers.
Let’s take a look at how cloud computing can help healthcare providers:
1. Save Money and Time
You can also save time by automating many of your IT processes, which reduces the need for manual labor. This means more time to focus on patient care instead of fixing technology issues.
JFrog and OpenInsight are good examples of companies offering cloud-based medical data management solutions. They make storing and synchronizing patient information accessible across multiple devices, allowing you to provide the best care possible.
2. Increase Productivity
Cloud computing can help you increase productivity by giving your clinicians access to their patient data from anywhere. This allows them to work from home or on the road if they choose, which increases their ability to get more done.
3. Increase Security
Cloud computing is more securing than traditional IT structures. This is because you don’t have to worry about protecting data stored on your servers—it’s hosted off-site in a secure facility and encrypted using 256-bit encryption keys. Cloud providers also offer backup services that allow you to recover from any disaster quickly, minimizing downtime.
Security is a top concern for healthcare providers. The Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is one way to overcome this hurdle. CASBs monitor and analyze the traffic going to cloud services to ensure that your sensitive data isn’t being leaked or mishandled. This helps meet compliance requirements and protects patient data from being compromised in any way.
Cloud providers are more secure than most on-premise solutions. With a client/server model, it’s easy for something as simple as a misplaced USB drive or lost laptop with unencrypted data on it to put your business at risk of losing critical information like patient records or financial data
Cloud providers are aware of this and have implemented state-of-the-art security measures to ensure that your data is safe. The fact that they’re prepared for a breach means you don’t have to be when one happens.
DevOps is a set of practices that help teams deliver better products more effectively. Although it can be challenging to implement, DevOps can help healthcare providers improve their IT operations and reduce costs.
DevOps is a culture focusing on the rapid delivery of high-quality products through collaboration between development and operations teams. The DevOps community believes that this collaboration results in better quality applications being delivered faster than traditional methods, along with increased transparency into project status (through automation).
DevOps also promotes cross-functional teams that share responsibility for the entire software lifecycle, from planning to deployment and maintenance. This enables them to build better software by sharing knowledge across product management, engineering, and testing/QA disciplines.
To get started with DevOps:
- Identify business drivers that reinforce your goals for adopting DevOps practices – For example, cost reduction or improved agility.
- Assess where you are today in terms of efficiency – To do this, consider how long it takes your team members to complete various tasks from idea generation up to production deployment.
- Review any existing toolsets that address these needs – If there aren’t any available, then consider building one internally or finding an existing tool that will help you achieve your goals Develop a strategy for integrating DevOps practices into your organization – Include critical stakeholders and get buy-in from management.
When considering the move to the cloud, compliance should be a concern for all businesses. However, healthcare providers have additional concerns. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a set of rules that governs how sensitive personal information should be handled to protect patient privacy. HIPAA affects almost every aspect of healthcare operations, including data security and storage.
In addition to HIPAA-related compliance requirements, there are also many other industry-specific regulations that must be taken into consideration when moving your data into the cloud:
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX)
- Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GLBA)
These may seem like many rules to keep track of, but they’re essential because they help protect you and your patients from data breaches and other security incidents.
Cloud migration is still a relatively new concept in healthcare, with many challenges to overcome. However, the benefits of cloud infrastructure will likely outweigh the costs as more providers begin to adopt it. While there are still some security concerns with moving data to the cloud, these can be mitigated by following best practices for managing access and encrypting sensitive data such as PHI. As new technologies emerge (such as blockchain), we may see more healthcare organizations adopting them for use cases like GDPR compliance or decentralized storage solutions that provide better privacy than currently available.
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