Why Healthcare IT is Heading to the Clouds
The healthcare IT forecast is “cloudy”—but for a good reason! Placing patient data and valuable hospital resources on hosted servers located outside of the facility was a step many hospitals may have been reluctant to take in the past. Fast-forward to the current state of competing healthcare business priorities, and it is quickly apparent that is no longer the case.
Driven by shifts in patient demands, value-based care models, and compliance, along with the widespread digitization of most consumer-facing industries, healthcare organizations of all kinds are realizing the benefits of HIPAA compliant hosted healthcare IT services.
If you could map the trajectory of budget dollars spent towards healthcare IT outsourcing, from sea-level-zero upward, by 2024, it is predicted adoption budgets will have rocketed well past the troposphere, beyond the realm of most clouds. The hosted route can no longer be viewed as a trend, but more so as a well-advised business necessity. However, for some hospitals, including those that serve small communities or rural areas, there is a prevailing idea that an investment in hosted healthcare IT solutions is not worth the cost and risk.
A high level, “tropospheric” look at why healthcare organizations are spending in the billions on cloud services, and the resulting savings, will show it is well worth the perceived risk.
The Top Benefits of Hosted Healthcare IT Services
As many of their healthcare peers and colleagues have already discovered, community and rural hospitals who move to hosted solution to manage their EHR needs will find it comes with many benefits including:
- Reductions in Operational Costs
- Contributes to Optimization of Internal IT Resources
- Reinforced PHI Security
- Improved Workflow Efficiencies
The ongoing costs of maintaining hardware, software, and the licenses required to run an onsite data center can be easily and significantly reduced through a hosted solution. Once implemented, most of the financial obligations that come with a hosted EHR network shifts to the vendor.
When MEDHOST provides EHR hosting services for a hospital, all maintenance and upgrades on equipment defined as part of the hosting solution are included in the cost of the service. Everything is designed to scale with changes that may occur within a hospital or facility, significantly reducing the hospital’s need to spend financial or human resources on system maintenance.
The reduction of upfront and ongoing costs, as well as speedy updates with minimal impact on your internal IT team, plus added flexibility, can help save money for hospitals in the long run.
Reallocation of Resources
When IT teams are not spending hours maintaining an EHR network and monitoring traffic from devices to servers, they can devote more time to optimizing internal hospital IT resources, supporting clinicians, and improving the care experience.
Enlisting help from an external team of healthcare IT professionals is akin to adding a whole new level of expertise to your onsite team, but without adding many costs that come with hiring an employee. It’s a “have your cake and eat it too situation,” all the expertise with a fraction of the cost. A trade-off like this creates value for facilities of all sizes, but even more so for smaller hospitals who may struggle to find willing and skilled IT candidates.
Improper EHR security alone, which can lead to breaches that cost hospitals up into the millions in lost revenue plus name recognition, is enough to justify an investment in a hosted solution that includes vigilant threat analysis.
In most comparable industries, active threat analysis against a quickly evolving and highly intelligent darkweb can be a full-time job. The comprehensive coverage that this job requires usually consumes one entire IT professional, and in some cases an entire team—a potential disadvantage for small community and rural hospitals. Many of these facilities have bare-bones IT teams and threat analysis is just a line item in a laundry list of responsibilities.
A hosted solution like MEDHOST Direct comes with proactive security designed to identify threats before they have a chance to hunt for a crack in the network.
Most HIPAA compliant hosted services are built with the needs of a hospital as a core focus, which includes features that allow clinicians and business office managers both to get more use from their data. Efficiency is a critical part to serving the healthcare industry and an integral part of MEDHOST’s cloud capabilities.
As research has pointed out mismanagement of healthcare data has a direct impact on a hospital’s ability to function at optimal levels. With systems tuned to their needs, clinicians with little to zero analytical background can get more out of patient and hospital data and use the output to find new ways of improving care workflows. The benefit of efficiency with hosting can help lead to lowered costs for patients and lowered expenses for hospital leadership.
All cost and resource benefits considered equal, hospitals moving to hosted IT services can find that the solution easily scales with changes in patient perspectives while helping to optimize the patient care experience.
Lighten your EHR load and ease your mind in the “cloud.” Get more done for your patients with fewer technological burdens with MEDHOST DIRECT.