Best Practices: Healthcare Cloud Services

Aug 22, 2011


Are Cloud-Based Apps Right for Your Practice?

Two emerging trends in healthcare have captured the attention of technologists and clinicians alike. One is the growing role of prevention and wellness services in clinical care, prompted in part by research that suggests it costs the healthcare system less to prevent chronic disease with proper diet, exercise and other lifestyle adjustments than to treat life-long disorders that result from neglecting these issues.

The other is the delivery of many healthcare IT services through cloud computing. Healthcare organizations are starting to realize that moving some or all of their applications to a cloud service can unify several offices in a large group practice, simplify storage management of large medical image files and ease remote access to clinical applications.

But to determine if a cloud service is right for an individual healthcare organization you have to do an in-depth analysis. With that in mind, this report discusses:

• How to align and prioritize an organization’s technology support and services with its strategic objectives;
• The importance of determining the right cloud computing evaluation criteria for highest-priority application services;
• How to perform a cloud analysis for the services and applications best optimized through cloud delivery.

While every organization has its own IT needs and limitations, the case studies described in the two companion pieces included with this report make it clear that choosing the right cloud setup can have profound impact. The first case demonstrates the benefits of a cloud-based program called Silverstone MatchGrid, which uses complex algorithms to match patients in need of kidney transplants with living donors. The second shows how a cloud-based practice management system—encompassing data warehousing, billing and analytics tools—helps a growing oncology practice work more efficiently.

Research Report