Over the past several years, cloud data storage technology has become increasingly popular. As organisations adopt the use of mobile applications, storing clinical data in the cloud database gives the user more access to the information. Rather than investing in additional servers on-site, cloud data storage allows organisations to save money by allowing them to purchase as much storage space as needed. With the amount of unstructured data and storage space required for analytics initiatives, healthcare organisations are demanding for more storage space for this purpose.
Last year, 89 percent of healthcare organisations were found to be using cloud-based health IT infrastructure, including cloud-based applications as reported by a SADA Systems survey. Judging from the usage, the majority of providers are likely to increase their investment in these cloud tools over the next few years. According to SATA Systems President and CEO, Tony Safoian, cloud based technology in healthcare are said to operate more efficiently, innovate faster and able to engage the new generation. He also stated that cloud applications and tools connect administrators to suppliers, doctors to patients and hospitals to staff, improving productivity and increasing customer satisfaction.
With this upward trend of future in the cloud based technology in healthcare, analysts have indicated that cloud storage is the preferred choice for healthcare backup and back-office applications. Some of the benefits of the cloud technology include the following:
- Cost savings
- Freed up internal storage
- Mobilized workforce
- Improved user applications
While cloud data storage has many advantages when it comes to cost and scalability, there are still several drawbacks organisations should consider. One of it being the lack of control over where the data is located, such as choosing between public and private hosting services. The other reason for caution when it comes to migrating into cloud based technology in healthcare is the possibility of a data breach. While private clouds give IT administrators more control over an organisation’s storage environment, using a private cloud can be costly due to the expert staff required to manage and maintain it. The Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance is also a concern for organisations to consider as not all vendors claiming HIPAA compliance are truly compliant or are the best solution for a healthcare organisation when it comes to having all their data on the cloud.