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Benefits of Cloud-Based Health Information Management Systems

Implementing cloud-based health information management systems can provide benefits to organizations of different sizes and types.

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Healthcare organizations operate on a health IT infrastructure comprising programs and applications used by employees with differing needs. Each healthcare department requires specific tools to complete tasks, with most of these tools being digital applications accessing the network.

Cloud-based health IT

Cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps are popular in healthcare settings for documenting patient interactions and managing information. Patient-facing apps and dashboards are also gaining momentum in the healthcare industry. Health IT departments can quickly find themselves managing dozens of applications with unique specifications and security requirements.

Maintaining applications with traditional management systems inconveniences IT departments managing cloud-based apps. Management systems functioning on the network won’t get the most recent information in real-time because they are not constantly connected to the apps.

Cloud-based health information management systems function as SaaS applications and are accessible through a desktop app or web browser. These cloud-based systems give users access to all infrastructure information systems from any device.

Cloud-based health information management systems provide general cloud computing benefits (e.g., high availability, reduced hardware maintenance, reduced operation expenses) and added benefits particularly for larger organizations. On-site control and maintenance is not required, so institutions with multiple locations do not need resident IT departments to manage information apps.

Benefits to network, data security

Managing applications with cloud technology eases troubleshooting and maintenance tasks for IT departments. Updates are made directly to the cloud applications, eliminating user update responsibilities and protecting the network from malware introduced by unsupported legacy updates.

IT departments can clearly view and monitor activity throughout a cloud-based health information management system, making it easier to detect abnormal activity. Cloud-based security monitoring solutions can utilize cloud-based health information management systems to prevent compromised apps from sharing information with other apps on the network and more easily detect where a hack is coming from.

Benefits to resource management

Integrating individual information systems onto a cloud-based system saves time on administrative tasks, syncing data between applications and updating records and files present in multiple apps. Sharing information between apps gives users data collected by other departments to apply to their tasks. Demographic or billing information collected by a department using a different application within the cloud-based health information management system can give users in other areas new insight.

Having all healthcare department apps consolidated onto one platform allows users requiring less frequent access to applications in easier manner. Users don’t have to contact the IT department for special permissions and they don’t have to download a seldom used app onto their device.

Benefits to specific practice types

Cloud-based health information management systems can especially benefit rural practices and healthcare organizations with lower budgets.

As stated in a recent case study in the Journal of Medical Systems, “institutions are facing challenges involving a shortage of funds and talent, inconsistent medical standards, inefficient information sharing, and difficulties in management during the adoption of health information technologies.”

Electronic health records are created and stored digitally so implementing solutions designed to take advantage of digital file format potentially have tremendous value to healthcare organizations. Better management of health information and records leads to more accurate records. Decreasing human error makes HIMSs a key solution for health IT infrastructure.

Cloud-based health information management systems are scalable and can easily be modified as organizations build more applications. Adding other cloud services to the infrastructure is easier when the HIMS is already cloud compatible.

Lowering expenses operational expenses is critical for healthcare organizations of any size, but can be necessary for smaller organizations to stay afloat. A health information management system spans an entire health IT infrastructure. Implementing a cloud-based solution that cuts cost across an entire healthcare organization frees up the budget for other necessities. 


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