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Moving to the cloud can make life easier for a lot of businesses. But it’s not the best choice for every business. In the health care industry, moving to the cloud could very well be the wrong answer for some facilities. And given all the concerns surrounding security and maintaining patients’ privacy, if moving to the cloud can be postponed, then maybe it should be.
Let’s consider some reasons why a health care facility may or may not need to move data to the cloud. When you think about what the cloud does – stores data and applications in and distributes them from one location – it becomes easy to understand why certain types of health care facilities would have no need for the cloud. Think of a small clinic or single-physician private practice with five to ten static employees. The cloud might not be necessary for such a facility. Size does matter. The larger the facility, the more office locations and the more mobile the staff, the greater the chance that moving to the cloud is a good idea.
It’s hard for IT professionals to keep up with the myriad technology changes that occur every day. So, if a health care facility has an IT staff that is either too small or ill-prepared to handle all of the its day-to-day IT needs, then moving to the cloud could be the answer. There are managed services providers (Like Us) that cater to businesses of all sizes in every industry. Finding the right one is simply a matter of shopping around for the most comprehensive services at the most affordable rates.
Health care providers have reason to be leery of storing data on the public Internet. Things still get lost or misdirected, modern advances notwithstanding. A better solution for large health care facilities with multiple office locations and/or mobile employees would be a multi-protocol label switching network (MPLS). With an MPLS, all equipment and devices would be synchronized, and the MLPLS would provide safety measures like secure backup and disaster recovery. An MLPLS also allows health care facilities to prioritize the information that’s received. So, things like patient records, research data and other important information take precedence over things like entertainment news.
Once it has been decided that moving to the cloud is a good idea and all the necessary infrastructure has been installed, it is time to make the move. Rather than move everything to the cloud in one fell swoop, data should be moved in a step-by-step method. Everything, even cloud-based solutions, needs a test drive. Moving the least important data or data from the smallest external office location first is a good way for health care professionals to determine if they made the right choices for their facilities.
The health care industry is probably one of the most complicated, and the complexities of managing it are manifold. Although there are many benefits to moving patient information to the cloud, it would be reckless to ignore the risks involved.
Have questions about the cloud and healthcare, give us a call.