Hospitals migrate to cloud for scalable, adaptable networks

The healthcare sector is finally undergoing similar technological changes as the rest of the business world due to the advent of mobility and cloud computing. If physicians and other caregivers want to deliver the best possible service to patients, organizations need to replace legacy network solutions with more advanced tools capable of supporting wireless connectivity.

A recent study by HIMSS Analytics found that the hospital IT leader's quest to implement more advanced technologies is riddled with both benefits and obstacles. As healthcare facilities make their way to the cloud to support the use of mobile and other advanced communication tools, decision-makers need to be sure they keep an eye on security and where they store mission-critical information.

"We found that IT network priorities for all participating hospital systems were consistently focused around accommodating greater mobile and wireless connectivity to their networks," said Jennifer Horowitz, senior director of research for HIMSS Analytics. "Simultaneously, the IT leaders were also concerned with ensuring the security of patient data, particularly as they relate to the challenges associated with bring-your-own-device environments."

Fortunately, embracing a cloud infrastructure can resolve these issues without jeopardizing the security of confidential information.

How the cloud is augmenting healthcare
The study found that executives are looking for highly scalable solutions to keep up with the varying levels of traffic commonly associated with hospital activity. Organizations also want network technologies capable of evolving to more sophisticated services in the future. Because cloud computing has both of these characteristics, decision-makers are considering the hosted environments to be a more viable option.

In a separate InfoWorld report, technology expert David Linthicum asserted that healthcare firms around the world are leveraging the cloud because of their ongoing need to reduce expenses associated with maintaining IT infrastructures. Because hospitals and other organizations continue to struggle with shrinking budgets, executives recognize the benefits behind eliminating on-premise equipment and moving assets to an off-site location.

Linthicum stated that implementing the cloud also enables facilities to optimize operations, allowing for a better return on investments - a critical advantage in the presence of dwindling healthcare budgets.

As hospitals and other organizations continue to face privacy and operational challenges associated with maintaining outdated and inefficient network solutions, it will become increasingly important that firms make a change within the next few years. By implementing the cloud, administrators can be sure their facilities are productive and adaptable to ongoing transformations in the IT landscape.

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