Physician practices and ambulatory care sites have been gravitating to the cloud for years, but Web-based services are now finding hospital-based and even industrywide applications.
This article first appeared in the March 2015 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
While no cloud-based electronic health record software of note for hospitals has yet to emerge on the scene, cloud-based ambulatory EHRs continue to gain traction, storage remains a strong cloud option, and intriguing new analytics options are tapping the versatility of cloud technology.
On the ambulatory front, cloud adoption has been underway in individual physicians' offices for the past five years, driven by vendors such as athenahealth and Practice Fusion. Lately, these software-as-a-service offerings, deployed as a single instance of software in data centers where multiple users share a common database with appropriate access controls, are finding their way into larger healthcare settings.
At Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, CIO Dick Escue, is a vocal proponent of cloud technology. In an August 2014 Wall Street Journal op-ed, he argued that healthcare IT needs a major rehab, and the cloud is a component.
Scott Mace is the former senior technology editor for HealthLeaders Media. He is now the senior editor, custom content at H3.Group.