To some in the healthcare industry, the business case for moving to the cloud is simple: It saves money.
In an industry where security and patient care are paramount, however, the prospect of saving money on its own may not merit an overhaul of legacy systems. So the argument for the cloud is not so much that the move saves money, but that it may enable organizations to actively drive down the cost of care in the most critical ways, even while protecting patients and revealing operational efficiencies.
Modern, secure, cost-effective space for vital data
Modern health organizations generate a vast amount of data per patient. Digital imagery alone often requires continual expansions to data storage as quality improves and file size increases. Keeping legacy storage systems up to par with capacity and security requires a significant investment.
After years of relying on CD burners to store and share images, for example, the not-for-profit Bon Secours health system discovered that upgrading its on-premises radiology systems would cost three to four times more than previous replacements. Encryption, maintenance, and delivery services costs added up. So the group looked to the cloud.
“The savings alone were enough to justify moving our image viewing and sharing application to a cloud-based service,” said Winnie Bernard, Enterprise Radiology & Imaging Systems manager for Bon Secours.
Real-time insights for better outcomes
Saving on secure, updated infrastructure can positively impact the quality of care, freeing up resources to focus on the patient experience. And with the robust data capabilities of a HIPAA-ready platform like Microsoft Azure, health organizations can streamline their entire delivery models.
“We’ve tailored our solution so that administrative and physician leaders have a personalized dashboard that shows only the data for their area of responsibility,” said Pamela Bush, Clinical Director Informatics at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. “And even though people have custom views of data, the information is consistent between users.”
Connecting people for better care
Access to consistent information is critical. By reducing the time to retrieve and share clinical information with providers, the cloud enables faster diagnosis, which can also lead to a lower cost of care—for both the patient and provider.
“We anticipate that patients will be treated sooner, care will be better coordinated, and we’ll see fewer negative outcomes since we can now deliver images in minutes rather than hours or days,” Bernard said.
Learn more about how the Microsoft cloud is helping to transform health services and outcomes around the world.