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The Five Challenges of Healthcare Cloud Data Management and How You Can Solve Them

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The demand for data technologies in healthcare is growing as hospitals deal with the ever-increasing amounts of patient data. While people seem to have gotten accustomed to the new normal in the aftermath of the pandemic, many healthcare institutions still struggle to catch up. The industry is changing, the patients and treatment protocols are changing, and so is how hospitals handle data. Healthcare cloud data management is at the frontline of that process, but not everyone is prepared to embrace the change.

Although the pandemic and advanced technologies have accelerated the healthcare industry’s transformation, there are severe challenges to adopting cloud computing. How do you address those challenges and navigate your path to cloud transformation? You begin with a clear understanding of the barriers along your way and then find the best solutions to break through. Let us see how you can achieve that goal efficiently to guarantee fluent functioning of your data management infrastructure. 

The Challenges of Healthcare Data Management

Adopting new technology is never a simple process. So, you need to be ready for some bumps on the road to efficient healthcare cloud data management. It would be best if you had a precise roadmap, a clear understanding of the possible issues, and a reliable technology partner who could guide you through that journey. Let us address the matter of challenges first.

The Complex Choices of Cloud Adoption

The main and the most direct challenge of healthcare data management is the sheer complexity of choices related to cloud adoption. First of all, you need to choose the right type of cloud, of which there are three:

  1. Private clouds – a cloud infrastructure owned and used by a single organization. Cloud servers are typically located within the organization’s facility.
  2. Public clouds – a third-party vendor operates this type of cloud. Some popular public cloud providers are AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
  3. Hybrid clouds are a combination of public and private clouds, consisting of on-premise cloud servers and public cloud storage and services.

Your choice would depend on the specifics of your organization, the resources you are ready to invest in your infrastructure, and the type of service you need. Figuring that out can be a challenge in and of itself. Thus, you might need some help from experts who can help you make the right choice depending on your organization’s needs.

Types of Cloud Services

Thanks to the advancements in the current state of the global network, you can choose from many cloud services that could benefit your operations:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) – SaaS in healthcare is a convenient method of getting all the essential instruments without installing additional software on your devices. All you need is a web browser. Clinical staff can use several instruments vital for healthcare cloud data management via the cloud. Forbes forecasts that the global market for SaaS in healthcare will grow to $51.9 billion by 2024. That is a clear indication of the growing popularity of the SaaS model.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the most straightforward healthcare cloud data management strategy. With IaaS, you rent an infrastructure that includes computing devices, networking resources, and storage facilities. You pay for a tailor-fit cloud infrastructure that corresponds to your organization’s needs – simple and on point.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) – similar to IaaS, you get infrastructure, development tools, experts, business intelligence, healthcare cloud computing systems, and more. If you are looking to develop custom enterprise healthcare software, PaaS gives you all the necessary tools and resources.

You can get other types of services via the web, such as Desktop as a Service and more. The problem is that most businesses do not know which service or combination of services they need. That is where you might seek some help from the experts. They can assess your business requirements, consult you on the cloud infrastructure design and implementation, and help you develop the desired infrastructure to achieve your goals.

The Growing Pressure on the Clinics

The pandemic has changed many things in our lives. But no other industry has gotten the ground blown from under its feet as much as healthcare. Patients are now more likely to receive care without even going to the hospitals as telehealth solutions have become more prevalent. The widespread use of Electronic Health Records (EHR), Electronic Medical Records (EMR), and clinical Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools generates an immense load of data. The industry has increasingly relied on healthcare cloud data management, making care more personalized and efficient.

The wide use of healthcare cloud applications is reflected by the consistent growth of the healthcare cloud computing market. According to the Global Market Insights research, the global use of data technologies in healthcare will drive the cloud market value up to $55 billion by 2025. 

Projected growth of healthcare cloud computing market
Figure 1. Projected growth of healthcare cloud computing market

The data points to the growing role of data technologies in healthcare, which pushes clinics to move faster under pressure and adopt the cloud as soon as possible. The sooner you adopt the cloud, the sooner you will be able to yield the benefits of digital transformation. However, this transformation requires expertise that often comes from outside your organization.

Healthcare Data Security

The more data you store, the more devices you use, and the more people have access to that data, the more vulnerable your infrastructure becomes. HIPAA Journal reports that the number of hacking incidents has been growing steadily over the past decade. That might be attributed to the growing amounts of data circulating through the web.

Healthcare data breach statistics
Figure 2. Healthcare data breach statistics

These alarming statistics prove how vulnerable cloud infrastructures can be and that the number of breaches will only increase. Does this mean you should forfeit all the benefits of modern data technologies in healthcare and keep all your records on paper just like in the good old days? Of course not. But building a secure healthcare cloud storage and reliable infrastructure is a challenge. That requires expertise in cloud DevOps, adherence to industry regulations, and knowledge of all the potential security threats. 

Industry Regulations and Compliance

As digital transformation puts industries at a much greater risk of cyber-attacks, security concerns become paramount for clinics worldwide. The healthcare sector is heavily regulated, and many international and local regulation entities enforce compliance rules upon clinics. These rules are meant to identify, mitigate, and prevent possible security breaches across healthcare organizations. 

Your cloud infrastructure must comply with relevant security standards and regulations like HIPAA. Healthcare providers and related entities must comply with such standards. Otherwise, they will be fined for violating or neglecting regulations, and fines might range from hundreds to millions of dollars.

Compliance rules are not meant to just fine healthcare organizations; they are made to improve the cybersecurity of clinics and prevent data loss. That is why you must consider those before setting up your cloud infrastructure or developing a healthcare cloud application. You will need an expert healthcare software development partner. 

How Reliable Healthcare Cloud Solutions Can Help

Now that you know the significant challenges to adopting cloud-powered data technologies in healthcare, how do you address them? It all begins with grasping the needs of your organization, which leads us to four actionable solutions:

Make the Right Choices

First and foremost, you need to decide what type of cloud and services you need. The easiest option is to opt for a public cloud and partner up with experts who can set up a reliable healthcare cloud computing infrastructure using AWS, Microsoft Azure, or another reliable public cloud provider.

The benefit of the public cloud is that you do not have to pay for the services and storage space you do not need. So, with the help of experienced cloud architects, you can build a tailor-fit architecture that has all the necessary features and no redundancies, saving time in development and money.  

You will also need a reliable technology partner to help you choose the proper scope of services your organization would need. It takes strong tech expertise to assess the organization’s needs, peculiarities, data amounts, and the healthcare cloud applications it may require. Making the right choices is nearly impossible without explicit knowledge of your needs, so you need a partner who can do that for you. 

Build Secure Infrastructure

Addressing the matter of security requires adherence to the rules. For instance, HIPAA compliance is vital for the security of your infrastructure, and thus, you need a partner who can ensure adherence to the regulations. Breach of due diligence can cost your organization thousands and even millions of dollars in fines, which is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Losing patient data is a much bigger problem. Add reputation losses to that, and you will incur massive damage to your organization that would take years to recover. Security has to be one of your primary concerns whenever you are trying to build healthcare cloud data management infrastructure. And that is where you will need an experienced technology partner.

Establish a Strong Technology Partnership

A reliable technology partner is a key to the successful adoption of healthcare cloud computing in clinical environments. You will require experts who can help you with:

  1. Cloud infrastructure design and implementation – to design and implement cost-efficient infrastructure using public clouds like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and GCP using reliable open-source and custom tools. Your cloud has to be resilient, reliable, and scalable. 
  2. Cloud management and implementation – for management and optimization services that will be integrated into your CI/CD while saving costs and tuning your cloud configurations. As your requirements and needs change, you will need a partner who can keep your architecture free of performance bottlenecks. 
  3. Cloud monitoring, alerting, and remediation – to design, develop and implement healthcare cloud application and infrastructure monitoring technologies to predict, detect, report, and mitigate potential problems.
  4. System reliability engineering – for application and infrastructure performance analysis to improve your SDLC, internal processes, and workflows. That includes data loss prevention, DDoS protection, recovery scenarios, and auto-scaling.

SPsoft develops HIPAA-compliant healthcare software that ensures the security of patient data and the flawless functioning of your healthcare cloud data management infrastructure.

Final Thoughts

You cannot run healthcare organizations the old way anymore. The time to embrace the cloud has come; the sooner you do that, the better. The road to cloud adoption is full of bumps and pitfalls you should be aware of before starting your transformation journey. You will need not just a roadmap but the right tools and a reliable partner to take your healthcare organization to a new level.

You will need a partner who offers profound cloud expertise and mature development practices to design and develop an excellent healthcare cloud data management infrastructure. And it is not just the flawless functioning that matters. Your cloud architecture also has to be secure and compliant with international standards. SPsoft can help you deal with all cloud development challenges and develop a secure and reliable data infrastructure.

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