5 Benefits of Switching to Cloud-based Data Archiving

Healthcare is #1 in cloud adoption, compared to all other industries, with 35% of healthcare organizations housing more than 50% of their data or infrastructure in the cloud. With health data volumes continuing to skyrocket, and 30 percent of the world’s stored data being health-related, it is clear that providers of all sizes need a long-term plan for health data management. Beyond the sheer volume of healthcare data, there also are thousands of data fields collected for each patient and there is a disparate nature of the records that can include patient demographics, lab results, medications, radiology, treatment, documents, financial and insurance information.

As providers focus more on interoperability and care coordination, cloud-based hosting contributes to secure and efficient communication among patients, physicians, hospitals and payers. And, for the IT team, there are a wide variety of benefits.

Five benefits of switching from on-premise archiving to the cloud:

  • Cost Savings – Costs for on-premise data hosting and storage are decreased through the scalable computing power offered through cloud. If more compute is needed as the number of users or data under management increases, cloud hosting can readily scale to meet the demand.  Likewise, platform management and maintenance is taken care of by the hosting provider, minimizing the healthcare organization’s IT labor, as well as software and hardware upgrade expense burden. After migrating, facility costs  are also reduced based on less power usage and space requirements to maintain equipment.  The expense of certain hardware upgrades or replacements essentially goes away.
  • Increased Security – As the #1 most breached industry, healthcare battles cybersecurity and data breach concerns daily while continuing to be up against a shortage of privacy and security professionals. Cloud solutions may offer higher levels of security than what is often available at the facility level (e.g., if the hosting framework is HITRUST CSF® certified in a SOC-2, Tier III data center across multiple locations).  Further, a hosted archive solution typically comes with a centralized team  dedicated to 24/7,365 internal and external threat protection, penetration testing and system monitoring services tailored to the preservation and interoperability of ePHI. The IT team maintaining an on-premise archive (and other applications) is often pulled in many directions and not entirely up-to-date on industry-specific vulnerabilities, intrusion detection or managing a common security framework with 450+ physical and process security controls.
  • Reduced Downtime– With a cloud-based archive hosted solution, high-availability servers are load balanced with redundancy and disaster recovery data back ups performed offsite with failover for power, cooling and storage controllers to a second substation. The right hosting partner will greatly reduce the likelihood for downtime and need for disaster recovery by ensuring structural integrity of its data center locations to withstand severe weather and even natural disasters .  They will also offer a multi-tier approach to upgrade and patch management from the operating system to the application.  Additionally, node redundancy will likely allow for zero outage upgrades.
  • Improved Connectivity and Accessibility – Users are connected to the archive application with anytime/anywhere access via a high-availability fabric network topology which also speeds data transmission and handling. The benefit of quickly accessing archived records 24/7 is helpful in these times of increased telemedicine offerings and remote operations. At some level, cloud hosted solutions also support the ease of care collaboration among practitioners with Industry standard encryption at rest and in transit.
  • Faster Deployment – Cloud-based services can be deployed more rapidly than the weeks or months it might take for a healthcare organization to initially plan, procure, build and implement an internal IT infrastructure. When it comes to additional data migration from a source system to the hosted archive (i.e., in the case of merger and acquisition), data transfer and image copy is quicker on a cloud network than it would be with an on-premise environment demanding data/image copy onto or off of secure hard drives. This speed and security supports a better relationship between the healthcare organization and Business Associate.

Ready to talk hosting?

Our team at Harmony Healthcare IT, ranked #1 in the category of data archiving by KLAS Research, helps healthcare providers consolidate data stores by decommissioning legacy EMR, HR and other administrative systems and securely retain patient, employee and business records across the healthcare enterprise. HealthData Archiver®, a long-term data storage solution, delivers a single point of access to maintain retention and compliance in a secure and searchable format.

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Sep 09 2020

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