The cloud’s reputation as a place to store data has become somewhat outdated. While data storage is the central function of the cloud, it’s evolved to include tools that bring agility, innovation, and financial benefits to the healthcare industry.
Security fears initially kept major healthcare companies from making the jump, but improved security is now one of the many reasons for cloud’s popularity. Additionally, cloud’s benefits are directly leading to better patient outcomes for healthcare organizations.
Efficient Access to Data
Healthcare organizations are tasked with integrating numerous data sources, managing legacy systems, and uniting data siloes from dated infrastructure. Legacy systems, in particular, are difficult to modernize, and there’s often no simple way to merge the data from these systems with the rest of the organization’s data.
If companies cannot fully utilize all their data, patients will suffer. Patients won’t have the ability to easily access their own data, and providers will struggle to deliver the desired patient outcomes.
Using cloud-based tools, however, these companies can streamline the data integration process and create a central hub for important patient data.
This form of digital transformation can ensure patient data is used properly to make better treatment decisions while also reducing the cost of operations. The next step with the cloud is to employ technologies that benefit consumers, like home monitoring devices and telehealth. As healthcare organizations become more adept at deploying cloud-based tools, staff at all levels will have the power to make smarter decisions faster, which will benefit patients.
Unified Patient Experiences
As important as it is for healthcare workers to work smarter and faster, it’s just as vital that customers enjoy smoother and more intuitive experiences. Data storage and accessibility are still at the center of these experiences, but it might not be immediately obvious to patients.
One example is how rehab therapists are using cloud technology to interact with patients in real time. They can answer care questions, respond to feedback, and assess a patient’s recovery. These interactions require access to all of a patient’s information and also ensure this information stays up to date.
Cloud technology is helping healthcare extend beyond hospitals and doctors’ offices in other ways, too. Health tracking devices and other technologies give patients the power to manage their health in the privacy of their own homes. This ensures patients are more engaged and ensures healthcare workers have better insights into patient health.
Patient-generated data is quite new to the healthcare industry, but it has the potential to not only improve patient experiences but also outcomes. Instead of relying on estimates from patients or even dishonesty, algorithms can recognize patterns or problems so a clinician can better support them in their health journeys.
As cloud continues to grow in popularity, look for healthcare organizations to develop tools that further accommodate their patients and their preferences.