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The cloud can play an important role for both providers and patients in healthcare organizations. It has replaced traditional healthcare operations with digital alternatives that help to lower costs and allow for data integration and analysis, resulting in higher efficiency.
With Software as a Service solutions specifically designed for the healthcare industry, many barriers to entry have all but disappeared.
The best examples of this are the SaaS-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) solutions. Traditionally, ERP solutions allowed organizations to facilitate better communication between their teams and departments. The cloud has only improved that capability, allowing clinics to develop a hybrid environment in which part of their ERP was cloud-based, allowing for great reliability and a redundant data fail-safe.
Similarly, traditional hard copy and locally stored EMRs aren’t meeting patient expectations today. They want to access up to date records with ease and as need be. The cloud provides for a totally ambulatory EMR that integrates seamlessly with all aspects of their business, from revenue cycle management to clinic management needs. With this type of technology, the healthcare staff can focus more directly on their actual work – taking care of their patients.
Cloud services allow clinicians to search vast amounts of data to produce the best treatment plans. Patients can also access these services to learn about their medical issues and collaborate with their doctors.
Sophisticated analytic capabilities can be used with business intelligence solutions to improve both patient-specific assessment and management. Intelligent business process management suites (iBPMSs) and case management frameworks (CMFs) provide healthcare staff with the capabilities they need to mitigate medical mistakes and minimize patient adverse events (PAEs).
Cloud services facilitate personal health maintenance, improve diagnoses, obtain better case outcomes, and optimize healthcare delivery. Hospitals and medical clinics are increasingly relying on cloud-based clinic management, medical records, and medical image archiving solutions. They offer cost-effective benefits and the ability to offload tasks from hospital IT departments so that they can support other operational and clinical support systems.
Cloud services, by storing data offsite in secure, maintained data centers, allow healthcare organizations to take advantage of storage services at a fraction of the cost of housing them internally. This results in reduced capital expenses and reduced staffing needs as well.
All of that’s not to mention that the cloud promotes patient compliance. Patients are now sharing vital information with their providers to help them when making decisions and dealing with differential diagnoses. The increase of cloud usage in the medical industry has led to the replacement of health IT systems with new capabilities that allow patients to play a greater role in their healthcare. The cloud is at the center of this change – it supports the collaboration and information sharing that consumers demand today.
Patients are using the cloud to take a more active role in maintaining their health via their computers, smartphones and wearable devices that track their activity, exercise, diets and vital signs. The cloud also helps patients find the best, most appropriate health services in their area.
To fully benefit from the cloud, medical clinics should develop a strategy that complements their business goals. Cloud solutions for healthcare organizations will continue to provide new and improved patient care capabilities as more advances are made.
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