Cloud momentum

The demand for hybrid cloud solutions is clear. Today’s organizations are looking for more agility, easier management, and access to more capacity to enable them to handle increased growing data and infrastructure demands without increasing costs. Forty-one percent of health executives say the volume of data their organization manages has increased by more than fifty percent in the last year.1 As a result, Statista predicts public cloud IaaS hardware and infrastructure software spending will increase from $25 billion in 2015 to $173 billion by 2026.2

Innovation and Insight in the Cloud

Like all health organizations today, you rely more than ever on technology and data to drive efficiencies and gain intelligence in all areas of your organization. At the same time, you need to focus on diverse healthcare missions: improving the quality of care and patient engagement, as well as staying competitive through leading-edge innovation and research. So how can you ensure your growing information infrastructure technology supports these goals?

By using the cloud.

To improve the quality of care, you can take advantage of cloud-based document management and workflow systems or business analytics. You could also use the cloud to enable processes and data insights to be more easily connected and accessible across teams, departments, and organizations. To improve patient involvement, you may consider a patient portal that enables patients to get more insight into their disease or find the right health organizations near them. And to stay competitive, you might think about completely new areas, like using predictive analytics and high-performance computing for research projects or taking advantage of the Internet of Things to collect data from devices.

By relying on the trusted cloud to transform your organization and to support your diverse healthcare missions, you can also realize additional benefits and opportunities. The cloud enables you to implement new systems fast, reduce costs, and take advantage of the scalability of virtually unlimited resources for storage and computing power.

Charting your journey to the cloud

Once you’ve linked priorities from your mission statement to cloud-based business processes, you can take the next step: weighing the opportunities versus your concerns for each cloud project. Of course, you need to be concerned about Protected Health Information (PHI) data, but not all projects involve PHI or other sensitive data. That makes them less complex and potentially better candidates to start the journey to the cloud.

One way to help chart your journey is to develop a four-block diagram, mapping out your projects and where they fall in terms of opportunities and challenges. For example, you might put EMR projects in the upper-right corner of your diagram. That’s because putting an EMR in the cloud may generate many opportunities, but it isn’t the easiest workload to start with due to data sensitivity and potential implementation complexities. Instead, you might put projects that are high on the opportunity scale and low on the concern scale in the upper-left block.

Most health organizations will pursue projects that fall in the upper-left quadrant first. Projects in the upper-right quadrant can follow in a later stage once your organization is more comfortable with the cloud.

Overcoming compliance challenges

Compliance is one of the biggest challenges all healthcare organizations face. You can confidently meet your compliance challenges by implementing cloud solutions.

Strategic cloud technologies are designed to help payors, providers, public health and social services organizations, and life sciences and pharmaceutical services companies comply with a wide array of global regulations. Your cloud agreements and certifications should include:

  • ISO 27001/ISO 27018
  • FedRAMP
  • FDA Title 21 CFR Part 11
  • EU Model Clause

Manuel W. Lloyd Consulting® can help you lower the cost and complexity of healthcare’s data growth needs by offering flexible, secure, and regulatory-compliant cloud solutions specifically tailored to support a provider organization’s overall mission and specific needs.

We provide strategy, design, transition, operation, and continuous service improvement in health analytics solutions that help pull together structured and unstructured data, ranging from EMR systems to handwritten notes, to social media.

We can help you improve the care experience, enhance clinical outcomes, and create much-needed efficiencies through better productivity and increased collaboration across the entire care continuum. Most environments use Microsoft solutions, such as Azure or Cortana Analytics, as well as non-Microsoft solutions, are cloud-connected, personalized, and more powerful than ever.

Cloud success stories

Healthcare organizations across the globe are taking advantage of the trusted Microsoft cloud to enable application innovation, transform their data center, and unlock insights into their data. Here are some examples:

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Dartmouth-Hitchcock sought to create a technology platform that enabled proactive at-home care for patients and actionable data for physicians.

By leveraging Microsoft’s leading technology for machine learning, big data storage and processing, and perceptual intelligence (including Cortana Intelligence Suite), Dartmouth-Hitchcock launched ImagineCare. The cloud-based system tracks and responds to an individual’s health status in real time. Using the perceptual intelligence capabilities of Cortana Intelligence Suite, the system can even detect a person’s emotional state.

In addition, the secure, HIPAA-compliant system has help Dartmouth-Hitchcock save money by reducing unnecessary hospital visits, admissions, and readmissions.

Gojo. To increase hand hygiene compliance in hospitals, Gojo, the maker of Purell hand sanitizer, needed a solution that monitored Purell usage.

Gojo’s Smartlink engineering team developed an Internet of Things application using Microsoft Azure and Cortana Intelligence Suite that monitors Purell hand sanitizer usage and tracks hand hygiene compliance to help prevent hospital-acquired infections.

Sensors that monitor foot traffic and dispenser activity send data to an aggregator that in turn creates actionable insights accessible from any device. The solution uses Azure websites for the portal front-end and CIS BI tools in the background.

“Azure gives us a wealth of services so all the groundwork for development is done. We can build on top of them and start to deliver value to the public right away.”

Paul Houghton,
The Health and Social Care Information Centre,
NHS Choices Interim Head of Technology Delivery

Shearwater Systems. Together with Shearwater Systems, the University of Kent, and Microsoft, Poole Hospital is developing and evaluating a solution using Microsoft Band and the Shearwater myCareCentric platform to engage patients with epilepsy and help doctors deliver more effective care.

Patient data collected from Band wearable devices is stored in a repository hosted on Azure, where it can be safeguarded and still accessed by clinicians and patients. The solution will make it possible for doctors to access the combined data and analyze it to better understand their patients’ seizure risk and respond appropriately.

Call us today to schedule a consultation on how we can help you. Call 910.210.0485, now.

  1. “2015 Healthcare IT Vision: Top 5 eHealth Trends.” Accenture, 2015. 
  2. Public cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) hardware and software spending from 2015 to 2016, by segment (in billions of U.S. dollars).” Statista, 2016.