By Bird Blitch, Patientco CEO
As this year’s annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference wraps up, there’s no question that the expectations are high for providers of cloud-based healthcare technology. That’s because investors have already seen the benefits of the Cloud being applied to other industries, especially e-commerce and mobile businesses. Of course, healthcare doesn’t move quick even when it comes to proven technology, but there’s reason to believe that 2015 is the year Providers make the switch for at least some of their business or clinical functions.
This is a no-brainer and the primary reason that Cloud software is quickly replacing expensive hardware. With Cloud technology, no servers are required, just a fast, secure Internet connection. Because the data is hosted across networks of secure servers around the world, there is virtually unlimited space to scale up to your hosting needs with little additional overhead costs. Most Cloud software is subscription based so it requires much less risk to implement.
For some, this may seem counterintuitive. After all, isn’t it safer to keep everything on a server you own in your own building? Actually, when implemented and monitored correctly, cloud technology is actually more secure AND less vulnerable to physical disasters like flooding or electrical issues. Furthermore, users’ actions on cloud networks can be tracked to prevent tampering which increases HIPAA compliance in the event of an audit.
As mentioned earlier, you can access cloud software from anywhere with a secure Internet connection. That means a doctor doesn’t need to carry stacks of medical records to his or her house and CFOs can monitor the performance of their billing office from another city if necessary. The Cloud allows for convenient accessibility without sacrificing the network security of a local server.
For Patients, there is an expectation to be able to view their health information or pay their bills online and most are already experienced with using portals to manage other parts of their life. Without the Cloud, delivering this level of patient experience is impossible.
As changing times call for more cost-effective, efficient business and clinical practices, Providers must embrace cloud technology in 2015 or risk being left behind by those who do.