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Healthcare Survey Shows Noteworthy Rise in Cloud, Uncovers Critical Trends in Infrastructure Plans

Lauren Farah Manager, Vertical Solutions Marketing Published 26 Feb 2020

Healthcare industry shows a marked increase in the use of cloud computing

Digital transformation in healthcare is happening for a reason. Advancements in technology are enabling hospitals to enhance patient care and safety, increase operational efficiency and reduce the cost of care delivery.

Recently, Extreme Networks surveyed over 200 healthcare IT professionals to uncover their insights on the rise of cloud computing, a key element of true digital transformation. Given the many benefits of the cloud, it’s time that healthcare starts taking advantage.

5 benefits of cloud computing

  1. Flexibility
  2. Valuable insights via data analytics
  3. Security
  4. Mobility
  5. Cost savings

Interestingly, survey results indicate that the use of cloud is increasing, but cloud networking remains a concern. In fact, many healthcare orgs are hesitant to move their infrastructure to the cloud. IT decision-makers’ reluctance is understandable, but we believe that cloud networking can serve as a major digital transformation accelerator for healthcare. Let’s dive into some of the key findings from the survey, plus the essentials on the advantages of networking in the cloud.

Key takeaways for IT decision-makers from the Extreme Networks healthcare survey

Today, 98% of healthcare orgs are hosting at least one solution in the cloud, including:

  • Email/productivity (62%)
  • Workforce management/scheduling software (45%)
  • EMR/EHR (31%)
  • Patient entertainment solutions (16%)
  • Medical devices (12%)
  • Other (22%)

With healthcare facility communications taking place digitally, it’s no surprise that most survey respondents are relying on the cloud for email and productivity, arming clinicians with the necessary tools for maintaining constant communications. Workforce management and scheduling software trail closely behind email/productivity with the two working in tandem toward a more efficient, productive workplace and by extension a pleasant, seamless patient experience. EMR/EHR migrations continue to be a major initiative, with 85.9% of office-based physicians using an EMR/HER system (CDC). It makes sense that nearly one-third of healthcare orgs have moved those systems to the cloud to begin to take advantage of business benefits and efficiencies. Patient entertainment solutions are also important, again to improve the patient experience and allow for a more convenient, comfortable environment. Medical devices are also a key use case considering the critical role that IoT devices play in healthcare today, spanning everything from heart monitors to smart continuous glucose monitoring.

Yet, only 14% of healthcare orgs currently manage their IT network in the cloud. Their reasons for making the move:

  • Ease of Management (57%)
  • Network or application availability (50%)
  • Better access to resources from anywhere (50%)
  • Lower cost (50%)
  • Better data back-up (43%)
  • Improved security (39%)
  • Lower staffing required (32%)
  • Higher quality of user experience (staff, patients, visitors, etc.) (32%)
  • Availability of analytics data (18%)
  • Easier funding from expense budget (7%)

At the same time, many healthcare organizations struggle with network issues from patching and upgrades to availability.

  • 53% of healthcare organizations have had issues with their network availability in the last 1-5 years.
  • 50% of IT professionals spend 3-10% of their time conducting network upgrades and patches.
  • 94% wish they could detect network problems before they affect patients and staff.

Though the adoption of cloud networking in healthcare is still maturing, organizations are seeing the value. 41% of healthcare facilities have plans to move their IT network to the cloud in 1-5 years.

Survey findings tell a compelling story. Cloud use cases are seeing a noteworthy uptick in healthcare, demonstrating that organizations recognize potential benefits and have started the process of making the move where possible. Though cloud computing is on the rise throughout healthcare, there’s a clear opportunity to take advantage of cloud networking as part of the greater digital transformation strategy.

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