Health IT is changing to accommodate the cloud


As technology gets smarter, CIOs at healthcare facilities are expanding their IT deployments. An article for TechTarget discussed how the remote access desired by doctors and nurses has increased the need for tablets, thin clients and virtual desktops in hospitals. After adopting the cloud, the possibilities are endless for CIOs who want to boost their health IT. Here are a few changes occurring at healthcare facilities that will allow staff members to take full advantage of the cloud:

Use of a wide range of devices
Collaboration is becoming a bigger part of healthcare. Doctors and nurses are using mobile devices, thin clients, tablets and e-books to enable better opportunities for patient care. In fact, TechTarget reported that having several different gadgets at their disposal gives physicians the chance to have secure access to data at all times. Furthermore, virtualized desktops ensure that patient information is stored in the hospital's cloud environment, not on the device, creating better opportunities to protect critical information.

These mobile devices can also be used in healthcare centers to give doctors and nurses the ability to stay on top of hospital inventory management with just the simple scan of a barcode, which can ensure adequate amounts of supplies.

Access to real-time data streams
The hybrid cloud has made it possible for hospitals to embrace big data and business intelligence tools that harness massive streams of information, which can make it easier for doctors and nurses to provide better patient care. According to an article for Healthcare IT News, these systems create opportunities for clinicians to access real-time information at the point of care. With data at their fingertips, physicians can make research-based decisions that may improve the quality of care given to patients.

Higher levels of information security
Complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act while implementing the cloud at hospitals has been a point of contention for many CIOs. The TechTarget article stated partnering with certain cloud vendors that write up business associate agreements created specifically for their healthcare clients is one way centers can remain compliant. With the importance of data security, healthcare centers need to develop disaster recovery and business continuity processes that ensure the protection of information. It's also imperative for CIOs to have confidence that the cloud infrastructure is properly protected from cybercriminals to reduce the potential for a data breach.