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Blog  –  19 November 2013

Debunking the Fear of Cloud for Healthcare IT

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By Kelly Baig
@KEHBaig
 

In 2014, ACO and MU requirements will take priority for your hospital like never before. This is the year when the bar has been lifted, in which audits are real, and in which you must stay focused on your top priorities to be effective.

“Half of existing hospitals will go out of business within the next 10 years.” – Scott Lundstrom, IDC, Health IT Summit In Boston, May 2013

To stay afloat in 2014, you need a modern data management approach with a unified healthcare foundation. Why? Because you can’t afford the extra time needed to learn and manage different systems for each type of application in your environment.

In addition, data growth from clinical applications as well as EHR requires so much storage that the sheer cost and availability of real estate can become prohibitive. Cloud-based backup and archive is designed to help lower the pressure of data on your hospital.

“Organizations that remediate and plug-and-patch in a traditional model are going to fail. You can’t remediate your core stack and launch a patient portal and do remote visits all at once. You can have partners do that. To think that we can make modest, incremental changes to a system that is already letting us down is naïve.”  -- Lundstrom 

Need some answers?

BridgeHead invites you to learn how cloud-enabled solutions designed for healthcare data management, can lower the pressure from explosive data growth. Here is some of what is possible:

  • Cloud Storage
  • Cloud Disaster Recovery
  • Cloud EMR Applications 
     

Cloud Storage

Hospital cloud storage solutions are not all-or-nothing: most hospitals keep some data retained locally while less frequently accessed data as well as data required for long-term retention is stored in the cloud.

BridgeHead enables two types of solutions in this category, which are backup-to-cloud and archive-to-cloud. BridgeHead’s cloud-enabled backup solutions make use of block-level deduplication and replication technologies to ensure efficient use of both local and remote storage as well as to reduce network bandwidth. BridgeHead’s cloud-enabled archive capabilities use file level deduplication and compression to achieve the same purpose. With all data encrypted in flight and at rest, these solutions transform the possibilities for your hospital to securely manage and protect all application and data types.

For example:

  • Medical images (DICOM and non-DICOM)
  • Scanned images
  • All types of Patient Health Information (PHI) data
  • EMR applications (e.g. MEDTECH & Epic)
  • Exchange email
  • Caché, SQL and Oracle databases
     

Cloud Disaster Recovery

Once your data is in the cloud, it can form the basis for a robust disaster recovery capability and provide rapid application failover and/or recovery. The unique combination of archive and backup for data protection means that the application can be quickly restored independently of the data it requires to operate. Once restored, it need only reconnect to the archive for its data. With virtual server capacity on-demand to recover the application environment, the hospital can be recovered either back to a local site or staged in the cloud.

BridgeHead works with hospitals which provide their own secondary infrastructure for disaster recovery, at alternate hospitals or datacenters. BridgeHead service teams are available to help design the recovery environment, as well as provide remote service operations to aid your team in the event of a disaster. BridgeHead also works closely with cloud service providers who have been carefully selected based on their knowledge and experience working in healthcare.
 

Hospital Cloud EMR Applications

In some cases, it makes sense not only to move data to the cloud but also to move selected application stacks. Moving an application stack to the cloud alleviates the burden on your IT team for day-to-day management of the application and its infrastructure, as well as freeing floor space in the hospital.

BridgeHead works with a number of leading cloud service providers which host EMR applications for hospitals, and which use BridgeHead HDM solutions including backup and archive to protect the data in the cloud.

Additional Information and Resources

For more information about any of BridgeHead’s cloud-enabled solutions for backup and archive and for information about finding a cloud service provider experienced with healthcare, contact your BridgeHead representative.

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