Can Hybrid Cloud Simplify IT for Healthcare?

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Healthcare has experienced industry consolidation, narrowing margins and an explosion of data, the combination of which is forcing the industry to look for more innovative and cost-effective solutions. At the same time, this same healthcare has historically tended to approach cloud-based services with extreme caution. Regulatory constraints can mean big penalties for non-compliance – and the cloud hasn’t always been the proven platform that it is today. Industry trends are now pointing towards healthcare organizations making the move from only on-premises and hosted solutions to incorporate the hybrid cloud too.

The complexity of the healthcare market means that the move to the cloud must be a thoughtful one, but one that can bring many rewards. A hybrid cloud model has great potential to decrease the time to deploy applications and ensure a faster response as new business challenges arise. With the cloud, IT staff can be freed up to work on further innovation to create a more efficient healthcare environment, provide a higher level of patient service and satisfaction and a more cost-effective environment.

While healthcare’s expansion to include the cloud is evolving, concerns do still exist throughout the industry. Is the cloud secure? Is it compatible with pivotal regulatory initiatives like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)?

Healthcare CIOs are facing industry pressure to transform and are treading the waters carefully to gain a better understanding of the benefits as well as the limitations of the cloud as it relates to their organization. Hospitals, academic institutions and manufacturers are working to solve industry problems, such as a decrease in clinical miscommunications, and to improve patient care across departments, hospitals and freestanding clinics. CIOs are working through the security and compliance barriers that hinder healthcare provider cloud adoption, as well as performance and interoperability concerns.