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As we look over today’s healthcare technology landscape, the promise of the cloud is characterized by jargon and buzzwords. Some say the cloud has “transformative powers” to bring about a “paradigm shift” in “digitization” – and even “hyper-automation” for healthcare organizations.
Yes, the cloud has enormous potential to drive value. However, for a cloud migration to be successful and realize maximum return on investment, it’s critical that healthcare organizations move past the hype and adopt an approach that utilizes the cloud to solve strategic, real-world technology and business challenges.
This approach should begin with selecting the right partner who can design and implement the technology to meet the specific needs of your organization. While every organization is different, we at Mazars have a deep understanding of the forces disrupting healthcare providers and payers across the business spectrum. Some of the most pressing challenges include:
- Cost pressures related to COVID-19, staffing and inflation
- Requirements for security, interoperability, and information sharing
- Compliance pressures related to data protection, resiliency, and business continuity
- The need to upgrade or replace high-risk, disparate legacy systems (the “technology debt” accrued over time)
- Operational demands to improve patient outcomes while moving from fee-for-service to value-based care
Transforming IT expenses and much more
Fortunately, successfully migrating to the cloud can provide quick relief on cost constraints by reducing or even eliminating significant technology capital investments, while enabling an organization to upgrade its IT infrastructure. A smart cloud strategy shifts traditional capex investments to a pay-as-you-go subscription model that enables organizations to scale their IT expenses up or down as needed in a predictable, orchestrated manner.
By embracing state-of-the-art cloud services supported by an experienced service provider such as Mazars, healthcare organizations can also address other demands and seize new opportunities. For example, ever-increasing amounts of data can be aggregated and analyzed efficiently in the cloud, which eliminates information silos that could not previously be breached for the benefit of the business.
Among the advantages of cloud-based data is the ability of business analysts and data scientists to scrutinize various streams of information to determine the underlying health dynamics of any given population.
This can help drive more impactful and cost-effective patient-care decisions. Healthcare entities can mine patient/member data to intervene sooner in the healthcare journey before issues become chronic (and expensive). This can result in fewer ER visits and re-admissions, and more in-home care that benefits both the patients’ wellbeing and the organization’s bottom line.
Cloud-based services enable users to take advantage of application programming interfaces (APIs), which allow applications to make their information and features available to other applications. One result is the ability to deliver a better patient experience by providing all key stakeholders with secure access to a patient’s electronic health records. When patients, providers and payers all have real-time access to the same data, they can make decisions more quickly, eliminate needless tests and procedures, and improve overall health outcomes.
Moving to the cloud also provides a platform for applications that personalize the patient journey to each individual’s needs and preferences through an omnichannel model. This approach gives patients more control over their healthcare by empowering them to communicate with providers and payers via their channels of choice: text, chat, email, website and more.
An omnichannel model powered by the cloud supports state-of-the art telehealth visits integrated seamlessly with in-office visits, as needed.
Enabling robust security and business continuity
A successful cloud migration can enhance an organization’s privacy and security safeguards. When implemented correctly, data in the cloud is more secure than in on-premise data centers. Cloud-based data also offers more effective disaster recovery and business continuity options.
Migrating to the cloud supplements IT staffing by moving some of the “care and feeding” of the network and systems to the cloud provider, enabling full 24 x 24 x 365 monitoring and response capability. Simultaneously, the right partner and cloud provider can help empower a healthcare organization with a new generation of expert talent, including full-stack developers, agile software web development, data architects and data scientists.
Successful organizations choose to work with a trusted advisor like Mazars that has deep experience in both the healthcare sector and the technologies needed to address the healthcare industry’s growing challenges of value-based payments, quality reporting requirements, cost efficiencies, and staff productivity. Mazars is solution-agnostic, sitting on the same side of the table with you during planning, assessment, strategy, and implementation.
We can help you choose the right strategy and toolset to solve for business and technology challenges in an industry seeing so much disruption. It’s all about building a cloud approach that is unique to your organization’s needs.
You can begin the process of migrating all or part of your data and systems to the cloud today.
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