Often faced with limited financial and human resources, healthcare providers have traditionally been slower to innovate than participants in other industries. It doesn’t help that the former are also favorite targets for hackers seeking to take advantage of their tech-poor situations. This places practices in a financially precarious position, given that they’re also subject to the strict data privacy regulations imposed by HIPAA and HITECH.
While it’s not a one-stop shop for resolving all your technology woes, the cloud offers big benefits to healthcare providers seeking to innovate quickly while mitigating risks. It lets them hand over the responsibility of deploying and maintaining technology infrastructure to a trusted third party, preferably one that has ample experience and a proven track record dealing with the healthcare sector.
#1. High availability
In healthcare, service availability can quite literally be a matter of life and death. Ransomware developers often exploit this very fact by specifically targeting hospitals with the expectation that they’ll cough up cash quickly. Cyberattacks aside, however, in-house systems can stop working without notice due to factors like human error, hardware failures, and natural disasters. Cloud-hosted systems are different since they come with built-in redundancies that keep them safe from unscheduled downtime. A healthcare IT provider will guarantee a minimum level of service availability in their service level agreements (SLAs).
#2. Effective security
Many healthcare leaders are understandably nervous about putting their electronic protected health information (ePHI) in the hands of a third party, but contrary to common misconceptions, a dependable cloud provider will offer a much higher level of data privacy than most organizations can expect to achieve in-house. They also add an external layer of protection that works round-the-clock and exists independently of your in-house security measures. This helps guard against insider threats such as employee negligence or deliberate malicious activity. Cloud providers also have access to the expertise and technology you need to stay safe in today’s constantly evolving threat landscape.
#3. Simplified compliance
Today, many cloud providers also offer compliance-as-a-service (CaaS) to ease the burden on highly regulated industries like healthcare. CaaS offerings are usually configurable to the extent that you can quickly and efficiently build a compliance and security plan that aligns with your operational priorities. Once deployed, it will be the cloud provider’s responsibility to address compliance matters such as data retention and protection, and they’ll also take care of any updates. Given the constantly changing landscape of regulatory compliance, this can save organizations millions while also greatly reducing the risk of a compliance failure.
#4. Increased scalability
In an industry where patient privacy and well-being are of paramount importance, healthcare providers need access to systems that can effortlessly handle workloads of any magnitude. If there’s a sudden increase in demand, the last thing you need is for your network infrastructure to start buckling under the pressure. From a business perspective, a lack of scalability can also stifle future growth by making it much harder to expand into new markets or open new branches. Migrating to the cloud lets you overcome these limitations by giving you access to computing resources on demand.
#5. Reduced costs
Limited budgets are often a major barrier to innovation. After all, few healthcare providers can afford to maintain full-fledged in-house IT departments. Fortunately, and thanks to the cloud, they no longer need to spend a lot. With the cloud, you simply pay a monthly subscription for your hosted resources, and your service provider will take care of all the maintenance. You’ll also greatly reduce capital expenses on things like new servers and workstations, and there won’t be any unpleasant surprises associated with break/fix support. Instead, your IT expenses will transform from high yet undeterminable costs to predictable operational expenses.
Enteracloud provides innovative technology solutions that help healthcare providers support future growth and patient success. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.