Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the benefits of cloud technology in the healthcare industry have been acknowledged. The pandemic only served to emphasize that point among more people.
An article by Jens Hooiveld on the website patientsafety.com, published in October 2021, said that servers can be used by healthcare organizations to manage, store, and process data on the patients they serve and the services they provide, as well as for information technology management.
Cloud computing offers a unique combination of security, data-sharing capabilities, and scalability, he said. It is less expensive than on-site data centers and far safer than hosting data on personal computers.
Cloud computing is transforming the healthcare business as a whole. This technology enables data sharing between and within businesses to be done safely and efficiently. As a result, patients have a better experience and have better outcomes, which has a growing impact on reimbursement.
For example, providers can utilize this technology to speed up the reimbursement process and improve against internal and external quality standards, such as hand cleanliness, fall prevention, and other key performance indicators for safety and compliance.
Below are the advantages, according to Hooiveld:
Scalability and flexibility.
Storing large amounts of patient data on-site limits the scalability of an organization. Cloud computing, on the other hand, offers healthcare firms greater scalability at a lower cost. As the needs of the healthcare organization develop, storage capacity can be expanded.
Data storage and data loss prevention
A healthcare organization’s bottom line can be harmed if data is lost due to a server failure, natural disaster, or another unforeseeable event. To make matters worse, a massive data loss means providers will lose valuable patient care records, putting clients’ safety at risk.
Governments and other regulators have placed a greater emphasis on data security in recent years. As a result, healthcare providers must comply with extremely strict patient data regulations. Healthcare organizations may face hefty fines and long-term reputation damage if they fail to take adequate measures to protect this confidential information.
In terms of patient care and safety, a lack of communication between physicians and other medical staff can be a major issue. When a patient is transferred to a different wing or floor of a large care facility, such as a hospital, this is a particularly concerning issue. Inefficient data sharing practices degrade overall care quality and prevent providers from achieving the best possible patient outcomes. Cloud software in the healthcare setting allows for more efficient collaboration among all team members. Workforce management technologies, charting tools, data sharing capabilities, and other functions are included in these solutions, all of which help to improve the quality of patient care. Improved collaboration also aids in the providers’ civil liability protection.
AI and machine learning
The latest artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities are used in innovative cloud solutions. These innovations have a positive impact on every aspect of the healthcare process. Machine learning enables providers to automate redundant recordkeeping processes. This has the potential to lower administrative costs, improve daily operations, and, most importantly, improve patient care. Data integrity will be aided by machine learning and AI, which will reduce errors and improve the accuracy of patient data. Predictive analytics is another feature of AI and machine learning. This analytic data can reveal information about how providers can improve patient care, eliminate inefficiencies, and save money.
Data recovery is aided by cloud computing resources, but these technologies also assist providers in returning to normal operations more quickly after a disaster, whether natural or man-made, in which there is an increased demand for health services. Even a brief loss of IT resources can prevent hospitals from providing adequate care.
In healthcare, cloud computing improves the efficiency of every aspect of the patient care lifecycle. Cloud-based organizations will be able to process patients more quickly, monitor for safety and quality, analyze, report on, and mitigate incidents and risks, bill insurers more efficiently, and quickly relay information between providers.
Patient care and safety
The move to cloud-based EHRs has the potential to improve patient safety significantly. Cloud solutions enable providers in a variety of settings to gain valuable insight into previous interactions between patients and other doctors. For example, this will protect patients from being prescribed too many medications, for example.