The need for cloud computing growing in the healthcare industry


Healthcare CIOs were once considered a group that wasn't ready to make the move to the cloud, but now times are changing, and hospital inventory management is one of the many processes being shifted to an online environment. According to a new study conducted by Porter Research on behalf of cloud engagement solutions provider Covisint, 58 percent of health care executives throughout the nation said it is imperative their organizations shift to cloud-based technologies.

"We were really surprised with these research results showing that 60 percent of the C-suite rates the need for cloud computing on a 4 or a 5 of a five-point scale," John Haughton, chief medical informatics officer of Covisint, told Government Health IT. "It's no longer, 'Do I have to go to the cloud?' Now we're at a majority saying, 'I really need to engage.' And we didn't expect that to happen so quickly."

Adoption of EMRs continues to grow
Crain's Detroit Business reported billions of dollars have been spent throughout the United States to implement electronic medical records. These solutions are believed to reduce the duplication of services, improve the quality of overall healthcare, cut readmission rates and advance chronic care delivery. Properly securing patient data in a cloud-based solution and adding capabilities can make EMRs even more popular among physicians. The study revealed that roughly one-third of EMRs currently fail to provide critical population health-management and reporting capabilities.

Giving doctors and nurses the ability to collaborate more effectively through the use of EMRs may boost adoption levels even higher. Haughton believes that when better security solutions are available, physicians will flock to cloud-based apps and technologies that make them more efficient than ever before.

"So it moves that CIO's perspective to, 'I need to access this information and the only place it lives is in the cloud, and I need to get at it in a secure, reliable way,'" Haughton told Government Health IT. He continued to say that cloud adoption is coming quickly to many hospitals and CIOs need to learn how to play catch up.

Cloud-based apps will reduce costs
Government Health IT cited Cynthia Porter, president of Porter Research, in a soon-to-be published media release, who said the healthcare industry is still more than 70 percent paper-based. She noted organizations that find ways to cut down their use of outdated systems will be able to become "game-changers." Once physicians realize the potential of the cloud, adoption levels will grow higher.