Survey finds “risk aversion” slowing healthcare’s move to the cloud

Ultimately, say experts, healthcare companies must recognize that fear of “culture change” could prove the biggest barrier to successfully transitioning to the cloud.

Jeff Rowe | Nov 01, 2017 12:29 pm

In 2016, 86 percent of healthcare organizations were using some type of cloud service, but according to a recent survey, only 39 percent of healthcare professionals believe that the cloud has a meaningful role in the industry.

That’s according to a recent article in Becker’s Hospital Review, which appropriately notes that one of the reasons healthcare is a “risk averse” industry when it comes to change is because an industry “built around caring for and preserving human life must hold themselves to a higher standard, because at the end of the day, customers aren’t just ‘end users.’ They are patients who are looking to healthcare institutions to deliver the care they need, often at one of the more stressful times in their lives.

Still, patients are also consumers, and most other consumers they’re interested in a healthcare system that is flexible, responsive and taking advantage of the latest developments. Which means the cloud is very much in healthcare’s future.

That said, the article advises healthcare technology leaders looking to make the switch to cloud must take a moment to reflect and consider four key questions:

1. What is your ideal state, and what is your cloud vision for your company?

2. Which solution and partner are right for your company?

3. Do you have a commitment to seeing the strategy you lay out executed in full? most often lead to dead ends on this journey, so be prepared to follow through.

4. Are you prepared for cultural and personal change?

With those questions in mind, the writer says, healthcare organizations should be focusing overall on building an agile system that can respond quickly to opportunities coming from tech developrs. “As more tech companies begin marketing modern solutions to the industry, health providers must realize that outdated systems are insufficient to quickly scale and efficiently run these applications. . . . (M)eeting customer demands for faster, more streamlined applications requires infrastructure that can respond and scale just as quickly.”

Moreover, while data security remains an issue, there are a couple reasons why healthcare organizations should perhaps not obsess over it. “The first is the enlightened self-interest of cloud providers, whose entire professional reputation hinges on the security of their clients.

The second reason is the benefits of cloud infrastructure, which is designed with the current technological advances in mind.”

Finally, there’s the connection between state-of-the-art technology and a state-of-the-art staff.

“Health organizations looking to recruit skilled physicians, nurses and IT professionals of the next generation should not expect these forward-looking individuals to be content with decades-old applications and infrastructure architectures,” the writer notes. “Like consumers, workers have their own demands for cutting-edge tools and equipment that will empower them to do their jobs more efficiently and with a higher degree of satisfaction.”