Health Care Moving To The Cloud
Modern Health Care is an exercise in information management as much as it is patient care.
We can see this with a visit to the Administrative section of any modern hospital. The first thing we will see is a huge bank of filing cabinets containing patient records. Ideally, each folder will represent an individual patient, and each treatment and interaction between the patient, his doctor, and the hospital staff will be recorded in the folder.
As established as the paper folder system is, it is almost laughably vulnerable to inefficiency and mistakes.
Tentative Moves To Cloud Records
The medical establishment has made some efforts toward digitizing its record keeping, and Cloud based applications would seem like a natural fit. Until recently, however, the move to a Medical Cloud has been hampered by concerns of security and patient privacy. Recent trends seem to indicate that the efficiency of Cloud Based record keeping services are becoming a more attractive use of dwindling resources.
Indeed, the market research firm, Markets and Markets, predicts the Cloud Computing Market for health care related service to grow $5.4 Billion by 2017. The transition to Cloud-based health care will not take place overnight, but as it progresses the industry is sure to see incredible benefits, not just in record keeping, but SaaS applications.
One of the most exciting patient care applications will be in consultation between physicians. In the current model, the patient will visit his primary care physician for his condition. The PCP may order a battery of tests, and record the results in the patient’s record. If further consultation with a specialist physician is needed, more tests will be ordered, often repetition of those already conducted.
Repetitive testing protocols are inevitable due to the time it takes for the patient’s case to make it to the attention of the specialist. If those results are available to the consulting physician as efficiently as business is able to access customer service data, the diagnostic and treatment process will benefit, easing patient suffering.
The Medical industry has been slow to move to the Cloud, in part due to security and privacy concerns. The biggest inertial factor seems to be that Medical IT personnel are simply not familiar with Cloud procedures and benefits. As exposure increases, Medical IT is finding that the Cloud provides not only greater and more efficient tools, but increased security.
By Peter Knight
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