Healthcare technologies have no doubt made the lives of doctors and patients better over the past few decades, but perhaps one technology alone has vastly improved the flow of information more than any other - cloud computing. Cloud computing has essentially allowed doctors and patients to not only share information from virtually anywhere, but it has also allowed for information backup plans to be put into place in order to secure patient records in more efficient ways.
In the Past
In the past, almost all patient data was stored in-house. This meant that even digital healthcare records would have been stored on hard drives and servers at a doctor's office or a hospital, and these locations were susceptible to power failure and corruption. If such an event occurred, it might have become impossible for a healthcare provider to access or regain access to important patient records, and this, unfortunately, might have even cost some patients their lives.
Modern Healthcare Cloud Computing
Today, healthcare providers can upload patient files and records to central servers like QTS data centers, or create multiple backups on a variety of servers using cloud computing - even if one set of files is not available, the backup files can still be accessed from another location. Essentially, this means more efficient access to records, a better flow of data and more effective treatment options.
Applications for Healthcare
Healthcare providers can also use cloud computing to streamline other digital processes, including payment systems and diagnostic tools. For example, instead of using an in-house payment system that requires a great deal of maintenance, a doctor's office today can use point-of-sale applications through cloud computing in order to process payments on the web from patients. Additionally, diagnostic applications can be run straight from the web, allowing doctors and nurses to input patient information and receive important treatment options, all without having to download and maintain any software.
Before You Choose
If you're a healthcare professional who is interested in taking advantage of cloud computing for your patients and your facility, it's important for you to do some serious research before partnering with a cloud services provider. Because of the sensitive nature of patient records, and because of various patient confidentiality laws in the United States, the cloud services provider you choose will need to offer unparalleled security and performance. Also, you'll need to consider the availability of technical support from the company you choose. Because medical emergencies can happen 24 hours per day, your cloud computing company will need to have an expert available to assist you with any issues that may come up, day or night.
Finally, it's important to consider the size and scalability of any cloud services you use. At times, your needs may go up or down based upon patient demand, so you will need to find a cloud services provider that can keep up. You might also need to consider partnering with various cloud services providers in order to maximize your ability to handle large volumes of data traffic and storage.
Saam Banai is a freelance writer and editor. He believes in the safety of crucial medical files and the patients they keep track of. In order to secure the records of patients properly, healthcare providers must use services like the ones provided by QTS data centers. Their HIPAA compliant data centers address the IT challenges of hospitals, medical software providers, and healthcare organizations.