4 Key Benefits of Cloud Computing to HealthcareFebruary 8, 2012
Cloud computing is a topic that is getting a lot of attention lately especially when it comes to applying the technology to healthcare. With so many people weighing in on the topic, it may seem quite difficult at times to decipher what is myth vs. truth.
Are there implications to Cloud computing in healthcare?
The truth is you can find something negative in just about anything. So the real question is: Is cloud computing a viable IT solution to healthcare and if so, what are the real benefits?
The 4 Key Benefits of Cloud Computing to Healthcare are:
Cost – A Porter Research study found that over 70% of healthcare providers that have yet to adopt electronic health records (EHR) or upgrade their existing health IT systems cite cost as the number one reason. According to a CDW survey, 88% of healthcare organizations that utilize Cloud computing have reduced IT costs by an average of 20% annually. By outsourcing software hosting, maintenance and support to Cloud computing providers, healthcare organizations will be able to drastically consolidate IT infrastructure.
Scalability & Flexibility – The CDW survey also found that over 50% of the healthcare organizations surveyed realized a significant cost savings in reduced capital outlay, resulting in less up-front risk for switching to Cloud computing solutions. Healthcare organizations operating on a utility basis allows them to pay as they go and only for the resources they will use.
Accessibility – Cloud computing offers access anywhere to documents and applications. This benefit alone is particularly useful for healthcare providers for accessing a patient’s EHR, test results, and other important information whether in their office, at the hospital or at home.
IT Requirements – Cloud computing also helps healthcare organizations reduce IT energy and power consumption resulting from IT infrastructure consolidation. Vivek Kundra, the ex-CIO of the United States, wrote about the potential monetary value of the increased productivity that Cloud computing could offer. According to Mr. Kundra, “in health care alone, a productivity increase of 1% in the next ten years – much of which could be achieved with Cloud-based services – represents a $300 billion dollar value.”
With Cloud computing, healthcare organizations can truly consolidate IT infrastructure, reduce IT cost, and increase business sustainability through this platform. This will allow healthcare providers to refocus their energy and resources to their patients thus improving care and outcomes.