Digital data will only continue expanding. Healthcare organizations will be pressed to keep up. Driven by both “hard” data found in EHRs and “image” data that’s scanned or generated via medical tests themselves (e.g., CTs and MRIs), data keeps amassing. And hospitals and health systems find themselves updating storage systems yearly just to stay on top of it.

How the cloud can help

  1. Tiered storage and workflow continuity are common concerns for healthcare entities. The cloud can accomplish both while helping maintain access to all vital records while helping prevent the need to upgrade storage so often.
  1. One major pain point I hear from organizations is how much it costs to maintain storage, and the upgrades and data relocation that come with it. Cloud offers relief. Rather than spending budget on new storage, new servers, etc., organizations can pay a set monthly fee for the service.
  1. Data protection is imperative. Yet many healthcare organizations still feel that in order to protect PHI and meet compliance requirements, they must file everything on premise. That’s not the case. Cloud providers today are willing to sign business associate agreements (BAAs), adhere to HIPAA compliance and even allow customers to tour their data centers.

More cloud to come in 2015

I’d say cloud will only become more popular, and accepted, in the coming years. Definitely for storage, but also for a host of other capabilities it affords, especially where unified communications and telemedicine are concerned. For anyone interested in embracing the cloud, I recommend reviewing your current storage configuration to see where, and how, cloud can best augment your needs.

Access Tony’s full article in the latest issue of Health Tech Report.

Learn more about CDW Healthcare’s cloud services.

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