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Cloud technology helps hospitals protect data

An initiative to digitize patient documents has been pioneered by the United States health care industry's desire to transition care delivery to a more value-based practice. To reach this goal, innovations in cloud computing have provided businesses with scalable, flexible environments that remain protected.

The on-premise datacenters some hospitals continue to utilize may not be able to handle the amount of information these facilities are requiring them to. Sponsored by a Boston-based storage and information management firm, a survey released by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) claimed that the security protocols of these databases are vastly outdated and vulnerable to cyberattacks. Many hackers well-acquainted with traditional datacenters know how to bypass their firewalls. 

The report stated 62 percent of 150 respondents claimed that they use external storage media to archive patient records. Only 24 percent stated that they use a cloud server to hold care data. HIMSS also noted the concern for doctors and nurses wanting to access information via tablets. About 26 percent of the facilities surveyed do not possess the ability to share data and don't plan on investing in technology that would enable them to do so. 

"As more organizations continue to compile data volume, the need to properly plan for data storage and archival will become a necessity," the report concluded. 

A good insurance policy 
HIMSS estimated that the transition to cloud infrastructure is imminent. The organization's conclusion is valid, as health care providers will soon be required to abide by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Stage 2 incentives for electronic health records, which state that eligible professionals in the industry must utilize systems capable of protecting, sharing and storing patient data. 

A platform capable of helping hospitals meet these requirements is readily available. According to Novastore, 80 percent of companies that converted to cloud usage witnessed operational improvements within six months of adoption. The organization claimed that businesses have benefited from faster disaster recovery, centralized data management and cost savings associated with cloud computing. 

The backup capabilities offered by a cloud service provider ensures those in the health care industry that patient records will always be on hand. Tangible copies of hundreds of thousands of documents stored in space-consuming filing cabinets can now be transitioned into an environment that is easily accessible by doctors and nurses. Furthermore, because companies specializing in cloud distribution oversee client operations, diligent eyes are always focused on maintaining stringent data security procedures. 

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