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How the Cloud Contributes to Health Care

In the era of electronic health records (EHRs), medical institutions must find ways to store, transmit, process, and protect large volumes of data. Medical data is often complex and unstructured, containing doctors’ notes and image files created during scans. Information must be stored for a long time in archives so that doctors can have access to a patient’s entire medical history.

Health care providers need to use current, complete, and accurate information to make lifesaving decisions. Data should be easily accessible to treatment team members, whether they are at a hospital or out in the field. At the same time, access needs to be restricted to authorized users to maintain HIPAA compliance.

The cloud has enabled health care organizations to meet the challenges of storing and handling medical data in the era of electronic health records. Technology consultants West Monroe Partners surveyed 300 business leaders and found that those in the health care industry were furthest along in cloud adoption. Today’s cloud provides tools for data protection and security while allowing health care providers to effectively store and access medical information.

Back It Up

Data backup and recovery is essential for health care institutions. Data needs to be accessed quickly, and doctors need accurate information to make critical medical decisions. Backing up data on-premises is not enough. Medical centers have been prime targets for ransomware attacks in the past. Recent attacks have automatically deleted on-site backup files.

Hybrid cloud provides the ideal environment for health care backup and recovery. The public cloud environment can be used as off-site backup. The public and private cloud environments can be synchronized to meet recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs). 

No More Flirting With Disaster

disaster-recovery-plan-and-healthcare-dataWhen a disaster strikes, everyone depends on the availability of emergency medical services. A robust disaster recovery plan will keep health care data safe and available during a natural disaster. With the cloud, health care institutions gain access to affordable disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS).

The cloud provides redundancy and enables instant failover to off-site resources. When a flood, fire, or hurricane hits the data center of a hospital or medical center, the cloud serves as a geographically distinct location where data and applications can be accessed. 

Better Access to Health Care

When the cloud is supported by a high-speed network, patients gain increased access to health care. A cloud provider that uses a high-speed network will offer the dependability necessary to avoid any bottlenecks that would prevent patients from receiving urgent treatment.

Fiber optic networks allow data to move quickly and reliably from mobile devices to health care providers who monitor patient health and alerts. Patients can use telemedicine to receive web visits from their doctors, and doctors can consult with specialists over video feeds. 

Health Care in the Cloud

Long gone are the days when hospitals and medical centers avoided adopting the cloud because of security concerns. The cloud has become a vital part of health care, enabling institutions to balance accessibility of information with data security and protection.

The right cloud provider will combine cloud resources with superior connectivity so that medical data can be transmitted rapidly and securely. FirstLight supplements its portfolio of cloud solutions with one of the largest fiber optic networks in the Northeast.

Health care providers that partner with FirstLight benefit from our experience with the industry and our understanding of its unique security and compliance issues. We provide superior connectivity for use in telemedicine and offer cloud backup and DRaaS to give you peace of mind. 

Find out what the cloud can do for your business. Download our “Definitive Buying Guide to Network Services for Healthcare Organizations” and see our healthcare solutions. Reach out to the cloud experts at FirstLight.

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