96 percent of healthcare organizations are using or considering using the cloud, according to the Dell Global Technology Adoption Index. The survey finds the healthcare industry is not only rapidly transforming but is more successfully closing the gap in cloud adoption when compared to other industries.
– The majority of healthcare respondents are using private cloud (43 percent) or a hybrid cloud solution (43 percent).
– Healthcare confidence in the security of data stored in a private cloud environment is promising, with 64 percent indicating that they are “very confident” that their data is protected.
– Nearly half of all healthcare organizations surveyed (46 percent) cite better allocation of IT resources as the biggest benefit of cloud computing. That benefit is followed closely by cost savings (39 percent).
The results for healthcare organizations mirror the study’s overall findings in which nearly every IT decision-maker surveyed said their company either uses or plans to use cloud solutions. Only a mere 3 percent of respondents across all industries are not planning to leverage cloud solutions.
The study also revealed that the top three IT priorities cited by healthcare respondents were making IT more cost-efficient, upgrading infrastructure and optimizing data centers. According to Cliff Bleustein, M.D., chief medical officer, Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences, by freeing IT staff to focus on the clinical experience and patient care, the cloud offers a critical building block for information-driven, patient-centered healthcare.
“By providing the flexibility and scalability that enables small and mid-size healthcare organizations to be more nimble in the face of constant change, the cloud can help speed and ease the transformation as other newer technologies are adopted,” said Bleustein.
Archiving As a Service
Hospitals such as Northwest Illinois-based Centegra Health System are using the cloud to store and enable sharing of medical images while lowering costs and enhancing security and reliability. “We gain control over storage costs and avoid future data migrations by centralizing our data in the cloud with the Dell Unified Clinical Archive,” said David Tomlinson, CIO and CFO at Centegra.
While it took some time before the organization was ready to replace its in-house storage with an outsourced cloud solution, Tomlinson noted that the move made sense from both a security and efficiency standpoint. “Our first concern with using the cloud was security and our second was about backups. How would we access information if our connections went down? Once we worked through the security component and established redundancy to ensure high availability, we embraced the Dell Unified Clinical Archive. It’s the wave of the future because it offers lower cost points and lower total cost of ownership.”
Dell’s cloud-based vendor-neutral archive (VNA), rated No. 1 by KLAS in 2013 in the VNA category[i], hosts more than 8.5 billion diagnostic images across a diverse customer base of large health systems, small community hospitals, imaging centers and Health Information Exchanges.
“The future of healthcare lies in intelligent data repositories that incorporate clinical workflow functions and predictive and prescriptive analytics. Moving to cloud-based archiving as a service is the first step in making your data actionable,” said Dr. Bleustein.
For a rural hospital like Comanche County Medical Center in Texas, using a cloud-based solution to host its Healthcare Information System (HIS) allows compliance with regulatory requirements and frees up the limited in-house IT staff to tackle other priorities.
“Costs are always a factor for a small critical-access hospital,” said Ismelda Garza, chief information officer for the hospital. “It was costing us a lot to keep the data center here, from power costs to refreshing outdated servers, and even the staff hours required to manage it all.”
To solve the challenge of upgrading to the latest MEDITECH version and refreshing the organization’s existing MEDITECH servers, Comanche chose the Dell MSite MEDITECH Hosting Solution, a secure, private cloud that offers MEDITECH support and disaster recovery.
The hospital has also improved security, because MSite is a HIPAA-certified private cloud. “It’s critical that our MEDITECH data is safe and secure, because we’re dealing with confidential patient health records, and we need to comply with HIPAA regulations,” said Garza. “Having our data in the cloud with Dell MSite gives us that security.
Global Technology Adoption Index Background/Methodology
To develop the GTAI, Dell commissioned TNS to conduct quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews with IT decision-makers worldwide. 2,038 employees of midsize public and private organizations—distributed across 11 regions worldwide and multiple industries—were surveyed to enable deep analysis by industry or region. The survey was conducted between July 15 and Sept. 2, 2014, and has a confidence interval of +/- 2.2 percent. For an in-depth look at the findings, please see GTAI results online at www.dell.com/techadoption.