Healthcare organizations are aggressively changing out expensive, outdated systems in favor of more flexible cloud-based applications. It just makes good business sense. Often, you get a far better product at a fraction of the price. And because you’re partnering with a third-party service, you don’t have the same stringent security issues you once faced when everything was in-house.
However, cloud technology doesn’t always come with everything you need to keep your data safe and secure. It can’t always solve for all of your needs. And when you try and piecemeal it together to get the job done, that’s when you increase risk.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology defines five essential characteristics of cloud computing that every healthcare organization should use when defining their own technology requirements. These can give you guidance for comparing cloud services and provide a baseline for how best to deploy them into your business and security strategy. But what do they truly mean? And how can they help you grow your practice?
Third-party systems are designed for core users, and will have trouble meeting all of the needs of everyone who accesses the system. Today, people access data using all kinds of devices. You might have different levels of authority logging in throughout the day as well. Do the admin staff need the same information as doctors or nurses? How does patient access fit in? It’s all about increasing user experience, and making it easy for them to get what they need when they need it. For an IT department, it means having an in-depth cloud inventory management system and performing periodic cloud audits to ensure access is granted on an as-needed basis.
Broad Network Access
The more connected we come, the better access we’ll have to the data that’s most important for reliable decision making. That’s a good thing when it comes to patient assessment and security. But public clouds aren’t always the best solution. For many health care organizations, a hybrid cloud environment behind a secure firewall may be better. And depending on how secure the data needs to be, also consider investing in special authentication processes.
Not all data needs the same level of security. Not all clients need the same resources. That’s the fundamental structure behind cloud-based services. It allows everyone, no matter how large or small their budget is, to have resources such as storage, processing, memory, and network bandwidth. It gives practices substantial savings through reductions in time and energy needed to support and maintain these resources.
Rapid Elasticity or Expansion
Scalability is almost always a top concern for health providers. Quick flexibility is needed to change based on the wants and needs. If a cloud-based system can adapt according to those needs, it ensures both time and cost savings, as well as faster delivery to market.
An essential part of any system is measurement and analytics. Cloud-based systems excel here, too, by providing automatic control, optimization, and reporting resources to gauge future direction. With proper measures, leaders can evaluate data and make informed decisions knowing they have all the data needed for the decision.
Are your cloud-based systems performing at optimal levels?
For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.