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Healthcare & the Cloud: Are You Cloud-Ready?

Businessman hand working with a Cloud Computing diagram on the new computer interface as concept

The digitization of data is in full swing within healthcare, and advancements are leading to beneficial outcomes for patients and providers alike. However, many organizations have yet to get to this point. It’s hard to define the best approach to implementing a full-blown digital strategy, and it’s even harder to do without an expert close by to aid in the lengthy, multi-faceted process. Making matters tougher is that every healthcare organization’s digital journey is unique. While some are fully prepared to retire old processes and jump to the cloud, others are not quite there yet.

You may not be exactly where you thought you’d be by now within your own digital journey. Challenges arise in most cloud implementation processes, and if they’re slowing you down, you’re not alone! No matter which stage of the cloud journey you’re in, there’s a way to reach the finish line. It’s time to execute the right cloud strategy for your organization and optimize your electronic health record (EHR) system.

 

CLOUD-BASED SOLUTIONS FOR VALUE-BASED CARE

“The cloud” is an internet-based data solution that offers a convenient, reliable, and adaptable way to store and share information kept in one streamlined location. It provides a scalable approach to ever-changing IT and business needs, and its flexible model allows your company to instantly pull resources on an as-needed basis. Cloud solutions are highly cost-effective - in most instances, you only pay for what you use. They even combat data security concerns by putting concentrated strategies in place focused on maintaining data ethics and privacy regulations.

Within healthcare’s infrastructure, cloud solutions serve to store, aggregate, and make accessible the data that allows you to provide value-based care. Top providers include Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure, which offer cloud-based solutions that benefit providers, insurers, and patients alike. Most importantly, they allow providers to engage with patients and share data while also empowering patients to manage their own care through timely insights delivered straight to their devices. AWS and Azure also improve workforce operations through interoperability. They offer your cross-functional team of doctors, nurses, scientists and researchers the advanced analytics they need to transform data into actionable insights for your patients.

By now, you may be thinking – “The cloud sounds great! What’s the catch?” Unfortunately, there’s a small catch. The process of implementing a new cloud solution is multi-faceted and, at times, frustrating. It doesn’t end with choosing the right tool and resources based on your budget and business needs. You also need to consider how you’ll migrate data, introduce and train your staff on new platforms and processes, and maintain your cloud platform on an ongoing basis. Although the end result will be worthwhile, cloud implementation takes planning, professionals, and time. Moreover, your cloud strategy execution will entirely depend on where you stand within your data journey today.

 

Cloud execution & strategy

How far into your cloud journey are you? How are you executing your cloud strategy, leveraging the cloud, or utilizing the cloud today? Are you using it strictly for population health, or are you working with your EHR vendor to enable it? Whether you’re newly aware of a data problem at your organization, deciding between cloud service providers, mid-implementation, or seeking certified experts to optimize your solution, it’s crucial to map out your path to the finish line. Different vendors, skillsets, and best practices will drive your strategy for every stage of the implementation process. Let's set the stage.

Stage 1: Choose Deployment & Migration Strategies

Implementing your cloud solution is the first step towards a data-driven strategy, and it all starts with assessing your business needs. Based on these needs, you’ll choose between three cloud deployment options: a private, public, or hybrid cloud solution. You’ll also need to consider the five common migration strategies coined by Gartner as the “5 R’s” – Rehost on infrastructure as a service (IaaS), refactor for platform as a service (PaaS), revise for IaaS or PaaS, rebuild on PaaS, or replace with software as a service (SaaS).

Stage 2: Cloud Enablement & Migration

With deployment and migration options chosen, you’ll need to ensure you’re cloud enablement-ready, which will set you up for success during implementation. Cloud enablement is the process of taking current applications, data, and IT processes and making them "cloud-ready." Cloud migration is the actual action or process of moving information from on-premises or legacy infrastructures to the cloud. Some of the most reputable EHR vendor companies doing this include Epic, Cerner, Meditech, McKesson, Allscripts, and athenahealth, among many others.

Stage 3: Support & Ongoing Optimization

Many companies hire certified specialists to assist in the cloud implementation process or support their solution once it’s in place. Cloud experts analyze your business needs across domains and configure resources to optimize the amount of money spent on cloud computing. As business and IT needs evolve, your cloud experts will maintain and optimize your systems regularly. Keep in mind - different functions are necessary at each point in your cloud journey, from architects to engineers to developers. Some of the most common roles include Cloud Application Migration Lead, Cloud Deployment Specialist/Engineer, Cloud Project Manager, Enterprise Cloud Architect, Cloud Support Engineer, Cloud Automation Engineer, and Data Scientist.

 

Experts at the ready!

Across the US, reputable healthcare organizations, medical universities, and enterprises are migrating to the cloud. This is a familiar story for our client, one of the largest public research universities on the west coast, as they make strides in their own cloud journey. Yoh’s Specialty Practices team recently joined forces with the university to assist in cloud enablement, supplying a Cloud Support Engineer whose skillset encompasses a blend of Azure, AWS, and GCP expertise. This highly-skilled professional currently serves as a critical element in our client's cloud execution and strategy across the multi-billion dollar organization. Yoh is their trusted cloud enablement partner, and we're continuing to support their mission by supplying certified cloud specialists on an ongoing basis.

With locations around the globe, Yoh’s Specialty Practices can help you find the right people and placements – no matter where you are in your cloud journey! We’ve worked in the industry, understand the challenges, and can match you with the right people to assist in your implementation process. Our teams come prepared with insider knowledge of EHR vendor systems, experience in revenue cycle and revenue management staffing, and a strong knowledge base in cloud platforms and technologies. We offer scaling and flexibility to match your unique needs, whether you need one Cloud Support Engineer or an entire team of certified experts. Interested in learning more? Let’s chat!

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