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Cloud for healthcare: Avoid these 2 pain points

The global healthcare cloud computing market is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate around 14 % from 2019 to 2026. If you’ve done the math, that puts the market value around USD $40 billion by 2026. 

When it came to whole industries closing their eyes to the rise of cloud computing, healthcare companies once comprised my biggest group of deniers. Most would not even take meetings, even though the scary public cloud held previously unattainable solutions for them. Now healthcare IT is no longer afraid of cloud computing—on the provider or payer side.

What changed?

Increased use of IT in the healthcare industry in general resulted in greater acceptance of cloud computing. Healthcare went from being the most underautomated industry to the second or third most automated, depending on the survey. 

Like all industries that didn’t depend on technology for data recordkeeping, healthcare now faces major challenges, including a high initial investment and a lack of qualified staff. This has driven healthcare companies to look to the cloud, where you can do more with fewer dollars and fewer people. 

However, right now I see many healthcare companies make the same big mistakes.

Mistake #1: Force the distribution of data. Many companies that deal with healthcare data treat it all as PII (personally identifiable information). The number of systems they hold back under the banner of PII includes a good portion of data that is not PII and should be moved to the cloud. Instead, they run the applications in the cloud with data that’s distributed on premises and in the cloud.

The result? Healthcare companies won’t find their anticipated cloud value by going down this path. Both non-PII and PII data needs to move to the cloud now. Cloud was not the best place for PII data five years ago, but today it’s typically a lot safer to store PII data in the cloud than on site. It’s time to move the databases closer to the applications and enjoy better security at the same time. 

Mistake #2: Stay on clinical information systems that bleed you dry. If you’re in healthcare, then you know the clinical systems by name and by budget line item. SaaS analogs are available that provide better core services and are easier to use outside the clinic, but most healthcare providers won’t consider them. 

It’s nice that many healthcare companies now take advantage of cloud computing. They just need to take things the last mile. The bottom-line goal is a cloud system that provides better, cheaper healthcare. 

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