Six reasons why cloud computing is appealing for healthcare

The goal of healthcare organisations is to improve clinical outcomes and the quality of life for individuals. Improving an individual’s health has the flow-on effect of improving the health of the population at large, which can help lower the financial costs associated with running a healthcare system.

Today, many healthcare organisations still have legacy IT systems or systems that cannot communicate with each other. This reduces the ability to provide clinicians with timely, accurate access to information, which helps them make more informed clinical decisions. Also, the wealth of data produced around an individual or a population can be locked in silos, unable to be accessed and utilised effectively.

Healthcare organisations are grappling with how to store, utilise and analyse their increasingly vast number and size of datasets, which they collect and connect with every day from multiple sources. The advent of cloud computing helps healthcare organisations take a practical step toward utilising their health data to solve some of the big issues in healthcare today.

Why is cloud computing so appealing for the healthcare industry, and how does it support the efforts to improve an individual’s long-term care and reduce costs?

1. Collaboration and access to clinical data

With cloud-based platforms, such as AWS, clinical data can easily be shared between teams. This means organisations can deliver fast, secure data across health systems, ingest and move multiple data sources to the cloud, all while securing that data to meet compliance, privacy and regulatory requirements. Centralised, real-time access to clinical information provides instant access to information anywhere and anytime and enhances collaboration to help improve clinical decision making.

2. Reduce data storage and management costs

Healthcare organisations have to store data in electronic medical record systems, patient portals, mobile apps, and more. That’s a lot of data to store, and not all proprietary data centres can store it. Cloud-based platforms allow healthcare organisations to store all that rich data from within a central location while avoiding the extra costs of maintaining physical networks and servers, significantly reducing the overhead costs associated with hardware. Cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions eliminate the costly need for in-house system administrators and allow in-house IT teams to focus on more strategic business projects.

3. Dynamic scalability and flexibility

Healthcare is a dynamic industry and an organisation’s IT systems need to be flexible to meet ever-changing needs. The COVID-19 pandemic is a prime case where organisations had to adapt their IT systems dramatically, for example by implementing new technology to help manage and monitor patients or requiring the extra capacity to store the data from significantly increased numbers of patients. Unlike conventional on-premises software models, the cloud enables digital growth and with AWS, Orion Health can innovate quickly and scale IT environments up and down at speed depending on our clients’ needs.

4. Enables cost-effective IT systems

Healthcare organisations are continually grappling with tight budgets, forcing them to invest in day-to-day activities which constrains their ability to innovate. A key benefit of the cloud to healthcare organisations is the reduction in the total cost of ownership for their users. Cloud-based healthcare solutions run on a subscription model, meaning healthcare organisations can save money by not purchasing expensive on-premises systems and equipment. Taking advantage of an end-to-end service provides a predictable cost model which means better visibility of monthly running costs.

5. Ensures security and privacy of data

Privacy and security of an individual’s healthcare data are paramount. A common concern when considering a move to the cloud is how secure is my health data? On-premises solutions have their challenges, like losing clinical data due to equipment failure, the requirement of software upgrades, and the retention of IT personnel who are trained in data security. Every Orion Health deployment on AWS comes with out of the box security, is both compliant and resilient to ensure the security and endurance of essential healthcare data, and comply with regulatory bodies guidelines.

6. Achieves broader interoperability

Healthcare organisations need a complete view of an individual’s healthcare record. Historically this has focused on data interoperability but going forward organisations will need to broaden this approach to include semantic and syntactic interoperability, to ensure the meaning and use of common standards and language are used. With Orion Health technology platformed on AWS, healthcare organisations can create custom-built solutions that provide a clearer view of the individual’s healthcare record with very little work from the healthcare organisation.

How can Orion Health help your healthcare organisation?

Orion Health Cloud provides clients with secure access to a cloud-based healthcare solution stack delivered as a tailored SaaS model. Our professionals build trusted, open and collaborative relationships with our clients to help alleviate the pressure of managing and maintaining complex health IT ecosystems and ensure you are maximising the value of your digital health solution investments.

As an AWS Partner, Orion Health leverages the computing power and scalability of AWS, taking advantage of machine learning technologies, increasing uptime and driving better outcomes which enables healthcare organisations to care for millions of patients. The scalable and resilient infrastructure, breadth of services and focus on security make AWS Orion Health’s cloud-based platform of choice.

To learn more, read our case study from Southern Cross Healthcare who worked with Orion Health to migrate their critical patient records to AWS in 2021. The successful migration immediately unlocked new capabilities for the private healthcare network and will provide them with opportunities to extend and modernise their platform, automate deployments, enhance monitoring and reduce downtime, while benefitting from improved resiliency and better interoperability.