Healthcare News & Insights

Areas to watch when using cloud technology in your hospital

Many hospitals have at least a partially cloud-based IT system, and the benefits are numerous. You have less hardware to deal with, which means less time wasted waiting for new parts, and data is typically more secure and harder to steal. 

Using the cloud means you’ll have more flexibility within your operating systems, since you won’t be limited to working with and maintaining a physical system.

In addition, the cloud can boost security because you’re able to have more control over access to that data (though it’s best to work with a provider that caters to healthcare security needs).

The cloud can also make it easier to set up and monitor a portal for patients to check the status of any new prescriptions and schedule follow-up appointments.

It could even be used to create a system to maximize patient capacity at your facility, or to add patient beds or other care necessities.

Cloud considerations

But if you’re planning on transitioning to a cloud system, there are some potential stumbling blocks you’ll want to watch, said Dave Chou, the chief information and digital officer at Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas City.

Chou told attendees at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) 2018 Conference that there are several considerations any organization looking to move primarily to the cloud should review before deciding.

According to Healthcare IT News, Chou said to look at:

  1. The capacity and capabilities of your staff. Do you have people on your team who understand the cloud and can modify it to fit your health system? Emphasize a cloud-first mindset with your IT department, and determine your cloud implementation strategy. Encourage employees to participate in trainings on cloud technology so everyone knows about the most recent developments and strategies for working with the cloud. When hiring, recruit people with expertise in cloud implementation and upkeep, including security experts, so you always have someone with the knowledge to help.
  2. The design of your system. The cloud itself may be secure, but pay attention to your facility’s support systems and hardware to ensure everything is as safe and protected as possible. Data breaches and attacks can come from anywhere, so keep up on the latest security measures available to protect your hospital.
  3. Your budget and contract constraints. This is especially important when dealing with an outside vendor for your system. When negotiating contracts with vendors, be sure it’s clear that your organization has sole ownership of the data stored on the cloud. In addition, try to include price protections so your operating costs don’t double or triple once the contract ends.

Implementing any new technology or operating system can be complicated. That’s why, when transitioning to the cloud, you should try to predict any future obstacles before they happen and plan to work around them.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest and greatest healthcare news and insights delivered to your inbox.