Many people have never known the time when homes needed an encyclopedia so residents could have access to basic information about many topics. In the past, someone was always saying, “I can’t quite remember that, but it’s on the tip of my tongue.”
Nowadays, any time someone wants to know the answer to a question or wants to send a message asking about something important, it’s easy to use a computer or even a smartphone to collect any information needed. In some ways, as the possibilities have increased, the world has gotten smaller.
Individual and Global Effects
The cloud magnified those effects, by allowing users to store information remotely so it could always be available to access at the user’s convenience. On a personal level, individuals have their online storage for music, books and personal files. Grocery lists don’t go on a piece of paper to be left at home — they go into the smartphone, which never leaves the user.
At a group and work level, there is no longer a need to physically take work home, or even meet in the same location as a study or workgroup. Files are always available, and many companies are allowing their employees to use personal devices to increase productivity while increasing worker satisfaction. Work never has to stop, but working has become more efficient and collaborative.
Even large corporations can take advantage of cloud storage, which can hold massive amounts of information without requiring a large storage facility at a specific location. Because of inherent strengths, even governments and medical professionals can feel comfortable knowing the data is secure.
Greater Information Security
It makes an enormous difference that cloud technology was developed by competing businesses. No one had a motive to keep anything back, and everyone involved needed to try to be the best. Instead of relying on people who would get paid for working 9 to 5 no matter what they produced, these advances in cloud technology came from private businesses trying to beat each other to have the best technology on offer in a very competitive market.
Vivek, the former first chief information officer of the United States under Barack Obama, said: “Cloud computing is often far more secure than traditional computing, because companies like Google and Amazon can attract and retain cyber-security personnel of a higher quality than many governmental agencies.” With healthcare, there is no possibility that anyone responsible will take any unnecessary chances with confidential patient information.
Without cloud technology, data would be difficult to access and only available through specific networks. Healthcare professionals would find it difficult to get important information that could potentially save a patient’s life, waiting until contact was made with the authorized user. Even though it feels intuitively more dangerous, because we can’t see the cloud, it is more secure.
Improving Quality of Care While Cutting Costs in the Healthcare Industry
If you surveyed people and asked them what they thought would be the most significant improvements needed in healthcare, they would doubtless give both of these answers. Everyone wants to cut costs, and everyone wants higher quality care. Most people think you can only choose one of these options, and that getting better care raises costs and vice versa.
Cloud solutions help meet both of these goals, and the original interest in cloud solutions was because healthcare professionals were trying to achieve both of these goals.
The Change in Patient Expectations
Everyone is used to all night access now, including 24 hours a day, seven days a week online shopping. There are many popular websites which patients can even use to diagnose themselves if they are waiting to talk to a medical professional. Some even frighten themselves because they rely too heavily on information they don’t understand from the Internet.
This ready access has caused a change in attitudes, where patients have a low tolerance for waiting. Now personal physicians are taking advantage of online technologies to help patients with procedures and diagnoses, sending messages through secure online systems, and managing billing through online portals.
Patients can now access their own records online and manage other important business with the click of a mouse. It can’t be emphasized enough that for most people the best goal for their provider is “To deliver on the promise of new technology for the small and mid-sized business by making IT simple.”
Compliance in the Healthcare Industry
Another important aspect of storing data in the healthcare industry is that there are industry standards that must be met. HIPAA Compliance is vital, no matter what level the data is stored on.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act created national standards for protecting patient information, including healthcare records and any other confidential information. Digital systems must likewise be able to provide this high standard of care, whether the provider is using on-site storage or cloud solutions. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has helped to frame the issues in a way which healthcare professionals can understand and follow.
CPU operates a website called cloudservicesformsps.com that provides cloud solutions that work for every kind of business, small and large. Many companies have special needs, including legal and healthcare, and need greater care and security.
CPU provides the storage needs of our clients with offerings in cloud hosting, cloud infrastructure and cloud services for managed IT service providers. We work as a partner with other IT services providers, Microsoft Dynamic partners and other firms who provide information technology solutions to their clients. If you want to find ways to cut costs while providing better patient services, you can call CPU to see how we can help meet your needs.