Strategic planning at healthcare organizations calls for increased investment in cloud-based models to help alleviate resource overhead and reduce the need for technology refreshes.
Cloud services provider Peak 10’s 2015 “National IT Trends in Healthcare” report, which compiled responses from 149 IT decision makers, revealed that 25% of organizations not currently outsourcing to an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model would implement IaaS in production environments by the end of 2016. Among that same group, 25% said they would deploy IaaS for testing and development, and 27% planned to use IaaS for disaster recovery.
Peak 10’s follow-up report for 2016, released in May and available for download here, surveyed 157 C-level executives and IT professionals, who indicated that hospital groups continue to outsource IT functions and adopt cloud-based solutions. Other related trends include IT playing a more integral role in driving organizational revenue, and the need to juggle “security and compliance to balance mitigating attacks and staying in line with industry and government regulations,” the report states.
The 2016 survey respondents rated their own internal IT security program with a B- average score, “most likely due to being overwhelmed with limited IT staff available for security operations.” The report continues, “IT departments strive to cover as much ground as possible, but keeping up with security as a whole often results in the need to drop all IT pursuits and respond to an alarm.”
The most recent report also shows healthcare IT departments increasingly adopting application hosting using third-party cloud partners — up 33% since 2014 — as an initial foray into cloud outsourcing. They’re realizing operational and financial benefits through shared computing resources, setting the stage for more applications — and even full infrastructures — as viable cloud-based options.
“Technology is changing at a rapid rate and while it is making patients’ lives easier, it is also increasing the amount of information that is at risk of falling into the wrong hands,” according to David Kidd, vice president of governance, risk and compliance at Peak 10. “Although healthcare organizations have been cautious about moving to the cloud, they are now recognizing the benefits and security in the cloud. This allows for more time to be spent on patients and the organization’s core mission.”
Overall, healthcare is ripe for the changes rippling through the ecosystem. NetDirector CEO Harry Beisswenger describes a paradigm shift in which hospitals are taking a “zero-footprint” approach with no software or hardware required on site. “You would connect to us once, map once, and you’d be done. Set it and forget it, instead of having to set up each interface and each customer individually and create all the business logic and formatting,” he explains. “We significantly reduce their hardware/software costs, as well as their analysts’ or resource costs, which are very expensive.”
NetDirector uses Peak 10’s Tampa Data Center to host its fault-tolerant technology stack, which maintains network uptime at 100% for most months and reduces the need for scheduled maintenance. NetDirector also maintains a second regional data center in Atlantato ensure full business continuity in the event of a disaster or outage at the main data center.
Click here for a list of technology partners working with NetDirector to provide its HealthData Exchange platform.