Salesforce Health Cloud – The Changing face of Healthcare Data

salesforce health cloudSalesforce is making a significant leap with the introduction of Salesforce Health Cloud, that is, introducing cloud based technology into the territory of healthcare.

“Salesforce Health Cloud” is soon going to make its mark in the healthcare sector, thus embarking into the world of patient-centric relationship management. Introducing cloud into healthcare gives doctors and healthcare providers, the privilege to effectively manage and care for their patients across widespread caregiver networks. Patients too can connect with their healthcare providers anytime and anywhere. Thus, caregivers can see their patients becoming active partners in sharing and discussing health related matters.

HIMSS Analytics’ recent survey of cloud computing adoption in healthcare provider organizations found that 83% of IT executives are using cloud services today. By adopting cloud, the information from multiple locations will be gathered in one single location, thus enabling the healthcare workers to gain access to all the data pertaining to a patient. This will, in turn, will help them in making better assessments and excellent decisions with regard to their patients’ health.

Putting patients first

Salesforce Health Cloud will contribute to deeper patient engagement with healthcare givers. Patients can use any kind of device; for example: a mobile phone or a tablet, or any other similar gadget, to have a firsthand access to their health records. They can also collaborate with caregiver networks and communities, and share their thoughts and ideas. Instead of waiting in long queues and filling up elaborate visiting forms, patients can save much of their time and energy by doing all that using mobile applications prior to their hospital visits. Patients can also clarify their queries and listen to their caregivers using cloud system.

Providing elaborate and single view for treating patients

By collating the patient’s pertinent information till date, regardless of the location of their treatments, the experience of caregivers is enhanced. Since a complete Patient Profile is obtained using cloud, doctors or caregivers can provide the patients with one-to-one care and support. In short, Salesforce Health Cloud gives caregivers the opportunity to view the whole history and progression of the patient’s health in a single view. Cloud fetches the entire information about the patient from various sources like Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), medical devices, and wearables into one single platform. Hence, diagnosis, treatment, and care can be delivered at a more personal and targeted level.

“With Health Cloud, we can offer smarter, personalized healthcare to every patient”, says Kristin Chu, Deputy Director- Information Services Unit, UCSF School of Medicine.

Reasons for adopting cloud

The whole idea of cloud revolves around the dynamic allocation of shared resources to create a more flexible environment. Here, infrastructure is treated as a service, rather than as a capital expenditure. Some of the benefits of using cloud are mentioned below:

  • Advantage on data storage and sharing: Healthcare organizations can save on the costs of storing hardware locally. Cloud offers big data sets where you can store massive EHRs, radiology images, and other medical data. Cloud also facilitates the sharing of this data in various geographical areas. Operational efficiency is improved since cloud provides caregivers quick and easy access to patient data. Such large storage and sharing facilities are not available in the traditional settings. Since data can be stored and shared easily, the scope of telemedicine has witnessed a remarkable improvement. Practices like tele-consultations, tele-surgeries, health record exchanges, video-conferencing, and home monitoring have grown with the arrival of cloud.
  • Security: Cloud computing systems can be designed to be safer than the traditional client-server systems to prevent healthcare data breaches. The idea of introducing a web-based secure private cloud can control data security offences. Consolidating applications on a shared infrastructure provides an opportunity to share security controls, thus dictating who can access what. The owner of the data must contractually agree with the cloud service provider to maintain all Personal Health Information (PHI) in accordance with the norms mentioned in the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Dynamism and scalability– Using cloud, the details about a patient are available to the doctor at anytime of the hour, thus allowing the doctor to provide a high level care to the patient. Caregivers can easily pull out all the past information pertaining to a patient. In the past, physicians spent a long time to review a patient’s records. Now, with cloud, the information is readily available. It is quite easy to scale up the cloud server according to the needs of customers. Overwhelming amount of data can be stored and retrieved at any point using cloud.

Prospects of Cloud in Healthcare

Whether it is the Dropbox, the iCloud, or Facebook, no matter in whatever form it is, we are getting accustomed to the idea of storing our personal data in the cloud.

Henry Ford once said: “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” This applies to cloud as well. The progress of the cloud journey is witnessing a great potential that transforms business models and working practices.

Here is an example of how the introduction of cloud has changed the organization and practices of a hospital. Frimley Park Hospital is an NHS Foundation Trust serving more than 400,000 people across its region. Due to budget constraints, the hospital looked at improvising its IT systems to save cost without impacting frontline services. Thanks to the cloud, now Frimley Park’s staff can access all the clinical records from tablets, and patients now experience an increased level of personal care. Additionally, the savings in IT can lead the organization to allocate more resources into patient care than back end maintenance.

Technology is a critical part of any organization’s infrastructure and cloud is no exception to this organizational norm. From saving costs to reducing carbon footprints, cloud is bringing in a new era of technological revolution in the world of healthcare.

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Author : Bhuvana Date : 24 Sep 2015