Senior doctor in scrubs with tablet computer

How to Choose a Cloud Solution for Your Healthcare Practice

If you are a healthcare provider in New Jersey, you have a lot of competition. And, your competitors are busy looking at Cloud solutions for their computing. Why? Because the Cloud is secure, scalable, and collaborative—driving $3.73 billion in healthcare spending on cloud services in 2015 with that number expected to nearly triple to $9.5 billion by 2020.

Here are some considerations that healthcare professionals and facilities must take into account when evaluating which Cloud computing solutions are the right fit for their needs.

Does the Cloud solution integrate with your EMR and practice management software? Some Cloud solutions will integrate with your electronic medical record and practice management software. To avoid the pitfalls of multiple client databases, or systems that don’t seamlessly transfer data to each other, ensure that your Cloud solutions will work with your EMR / PM systems.

Can we store and share data securely? Whether it’s your operational data or backup data, business-class Cloud solutions offer flexible file collaboration apps that go beyond the capabilities of consumer-grade options such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

Business Cloud solutions enable users to have complete control over revisions and backups and have file encryption and other security measures baked in to keep sensitive data safe. The Cloud is also scalable, meaning you can ramp up and expand your infrastructure with relative ease as your needs or organization grows.

In addition, make sure the managed IT services firm you are talking to understands and meets the healthcare industry’s requirements about data protection and encryption. Find out about the failover protocols and other safeguards in place at the data centers where your Cloud server is housed. For instance, does the Cloud solution offer redundant and geographically distinct data centers? Are there adequate protections against network intrusions?

Is the solution up to snuff about HIPAA security? This is a no-brainer. Many Cloud solutions meet HIPAA compliance standards, but not all of them. Make sure you or your IT consultant evaluate potential Cloud solutions for their compliance with HIPAA regulations.

What about backup and business continuity? Work with your IT service partner to define your recovy time objective (RTO) so that you know how long your systems will be down before your backup systems come online.

Talk to your provider about having image-based file backups to the Cloud; this assures your healthcare organization of having patient information, research data, vital documents, schedules, and more available to users from any location; that users are all accessing the more recent version of the files; and that data can be restored in the Cloud in the case of an on-site emergency.

Think about how dependent your medical facility or office is on patient data, internet connectivity, imaging applications, and more. Then think about how disastrous if would be if your team lost access to your location, your files, or your network.

New Jersey businesses of all kinds have been suffered revenue and profit losses in recent years from the effects of extreme weather incidents such as flooding, power outages, or damages to the site. Make sure your IT provider conducts a business impact analysis (BIA) and establishes recovery time objectives to ensure that the impact of a full or partial data loss on profits and productivity is minimal.

Other critical elements to ask about: bare metal restore, monitoring, and virtualization. These are all essential parts of a Cloud-based business continuity plan.

What kind of support will my NJ healthcare organization get from an IT services provider? That depends on the firm you work with. At IND Corporation, our comprehensive TotalCare managed IT services plan provides one-hour urgent response to clients plus unlimited remote and onsite IT support, proactive monitoring, and nightly maintenance to keep your computing secure and running at peak performance. We’re based in Parsippany, New Jersey and work with companies from many industries throughout the state, with industry-leading IT consulting and support services. Contact us for a consultation about our healthcare tech solutions at 973-400-4227.