Cloud computing has revolutionized the healthcare industry. Gone are the days when doctors would have to transfer paper medical records through fax machines to other healthcare providers. Now, all information can be accessed via cloud technologies to improve the efficiency of collaborative patient care (Investopedia, n.d.). This is only one of the many benefits of cloud-powered softwares. There are four ways cloud technology transforms the healthcare industry.
Cloud Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) Software
- EMRs are digital versions of paper charts. EMR software provides a platform to securely store information about a patient’s medications, family medical history, treatment history, and more. Additionally, these platforms typically provide a notification system for healthcare providers to remind patients of screenings or preventative check ups for which they are scheduled (Garrett & Seidman, 2011).
- EMRs enable healthcare providers to easily view patient blood pressure readings, vaccinations, body-mass index, and more (Garrett & Seidman, 2011).
- EMR softwares are typically less costly than more involved healthcare softwares that house more than medical records. With a cloud-powered EMR software, healthcare institutions save costs on expensive on-site servers and in-house IT staff (Laing, 2017).
- EMR softwares also improve the communications between a physician and his/her team members on a patient’s care. Chart summaries and medical notes are structured and organized reducing miscommunications on the proper course of treatment (Manca, 2015).
- If you are looking for a software to organize patient information within one health care organization, then an EMR software is the right cloud based solution for you.
Cloud Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Software
- While EMRs are typically only accessed by one healthcare facility, EHR software provides the ability to electronically send records securely to other health care specialists from other health care organizations (Garrett & Seidman, 2011). Cloud-based EHR software allows a healthcare provider the ability to securely send medical records to other authorized health care specialists anytime, anywhere from any device with an internet connection. This way, patients can receive their records more efficiently in emergency situations–and also can be provided with optimal care by a specialist who can make well-informed treatment decisions for new patients (Garrett & Seidman, 2011).
- The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act encourages the use of EHR systems by providing health care institutions funding for demonstrating meaningful use of electronic medical records (The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 2018).
- A cloud-based EHR software is more easily scalable. For example, if a small dermatology practice utilizes a client-server system–IT staff would have to spend extensive time reworking their in-house server to accommodate for growing numbers of patients and health care providers. However, if that same dermatology practice utilized a cloud-based EHR solution, it would be fast and simple to add new patients and health care professionals from a variety of locations to their system (Continuum, n.d.).
- EHR softwares typically also have a patient portal in which the patient can gain access to his or her medical records (Wilson, 2012).
- Cloud-based EHR software provides real-time updates to medical records so that all care providers have access to the most current, and most accurate patient information at all times (USF Health, n.d.). This improves the quality of healthcare provided to patients.
Cloud Personal Health Records (PHR) Systems
- PHRs differ from EHRs in that they are maintained by the patient (Wilson, 2012).
- Patients can add data to their PHR such as lab results or observations on reactions to certain treatments (Wilson, 2012).
- Data from devices such as blood-glucose testers or electronic weighing scales can be added to PHR systems (Wilson, 2012). These systems show great promise for increasing compliance in managing preventative care activities, short-term conditions, and chronic conditions (Wilson, 2012).
- Cloud-based PHRs allow patients the ease of adding information from anywhere, anytime as long as they have an internet connection. Patients can even add data to their PHR from their smartphones.
- PHR systems empower patients to take more responsibility for their own wellness. This, in turn, leads to stronger health outcomes (Wilson, 2012; Wang, Xu, Shi, & Lin, 2015).
Cloud Healthcare Learning Management Systems
- In-person trainings for healthcare providers can be costly. Cloud LMS solutions save your organization time and resources by conducting your trainings online via a cloud-based learning management system. The good example of such solutions is Healthcare LMS by CertCentral.
- Design courses online regarding new procedures, best practices, and institutional policies and design exams testing healthcare professionals’ understanding of in-person trainings. Health care providers can then take these online courses or exams on smartphones, tablets, or desktops anywhere at any time as long as they are connected to Wifi.
- Never miss certification deadlines with CertCentral. This cloud-based platform allows training administrators to send reminder notifications to medical staff who have yet to complete their trainings.
- Export results of trainee assessments to statistical software that allows healthcare institutions to optimize their online training programs for healthcare professionals.
- Issue custom completion certificates to health care providers who have passed training programs.