Why digital transformation in health needs the cloud
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Why digital transformation in health needs the cloud

A new report from Gartner has found Australia needs a more proactive approach to digital transformation, so what can the health industry do to take charge?

Digital transformation in health defined

Generally speaking, digital transformation in healthcare is the process in which medical practices and institutions move away from traditional systems such as paper, or on-premise software, in favour of digitally agile options such as paperless patient record management, automated patient booking systems and cloud-based clinical and practice management software.

The aim of the transformation process is to enable major improvements in productivity workflow, data security and scalability. And in recent years, digital transformation in healthcare has been driven by major innovations in cloud computing, big data and mobile technologies.

Digital ecosystems are underused

 According to Gartner’s new report, Digital Business Transformation: An Australia Perspective, when it comes to Australian organisation’s efforts to enable digital transformation, ambition surpasses performance. The survey, which examined a number of industry verticals including healthcare, saw digital ecosystems were considerably undervalued and unterutilised, and workforces were not prepared enough for the digital future.

Where does cloud fit into all this?

Flexible, secure accessible from anywhere, cloud clinical and practice management solutions such as Helix is a prime example of an innovative solution that is the cornerstone of digital transformation in healthcare..

Over the past few years, cloud adoption has been on the rise in the healthcare industry and already, more health professionals are understanding the benefits, but there’s still a long way to go for more widespread adoption.

Compared with other industries, the healthcare sector has been relatively slow to embrace the cloud. In fact, the state of current interoperability in Australia’s healthcare sector has been increasingly frustrating GPs who can still be faced with working with outdated, server-based, legacy systems and ‘siloed’ ways in which hospitals and practitioners communicate.

However a recent white paper by MedicalDirector revealed the benefits of cloud-based health solutions, with, 64% of respondents admitting they consider flexibility to be the main benefit of using a cloud-based HER/PMS systems.

Additional benefits of cloud in terms of enabling more effective interoperability in healthcare include:

  • Offering a scalable and flexible solution that can lower operational burdens
  • Cloud-based interoperability complements value-based, patient-centric care and population health efforts
  • Cloud-based solutions can open an opportunity for a greater, more connected digital ecosystem while ensuring security is a priority
  • Cloud-based solutions can help reduce administrative burdens and benefit billing and reimbursement processes.
  • Unifying clinical systems into a single, cloud-hosted application and improve functionality and clinical workflow

Moving forward, legacy patient data systems may not be able to keep up with the next generation of cloud-based systems that better support and promote interoperability. At the same time, increased security and more robust, cloud-based solutions are opening up fresh opportunities to embrace a more scalable and flexible solution that will help propel the scope of interoperable digital healthcare into the future.

Who is getting it right

As digital transformation continues to transform the healthcare industry, the right cloud infrastructure can pave to a new and exciting future.

One example of a successful digital transformation journey leveraging cloud is Technology Tree, who helped a Perth-based medical centre move from a server-based clinical environment to the cloud.

“When we started working with this Medical Centre, they were stuck in the dark ages when it came to IT,” Technology Tree’s Director, Derek Stewart, said. “They had a core application for practice management, but it wasn’t meeting their needs.”

After implementing MedicalDirector’s cloud-based solution, Technology Tree enabled the medical centre to leverage a more secure environment for patient data, a streamlined workflow solution and a more flexible and streamlined way of working for both GPs and practice managers.

“We’re interested in creating solutions for our clients, we’re not interested in creating another set of problems that you have to manage and maintain, and that’s one of the reasons we implemented Helix,” Stewart added.

Tips for choosing the right cloud provider:

  • Partner with a cloud provider that has the best in-market security and data protection to ensure your sensitive patient data and health records are secure
  • Look for a cloud provider with a solution that can be easily integrated with your workflow needs such as billing, Medicare, invoicing and payment transactions
  • Check that your provider offers superior customer support and regular software updates
  • Choose to work with a cloud provider that has a solid track record, proven expertise and leading innovative solutions.