December 4, 2012
Implementing the cloud provides decision-makers with an easy-to-access solution to archive their companies' documents and secure them from unauthorized consumers. More employers are also investing in the cloud to connect with others from anywhere, at any time, using smartphones and tablets.
Recent reports show that institutions in the healthcare industry are making plans to adopt new technologies in 2013, like the cloud and mobile devices, to modernize their work processes, organize files and reduce the risk of data loss.
Hospitals increase use of new technology
In Looking Ahead: Top Five Healthcare IT Trends for 2013, AT&T experts discuss technologies that are gaining popularity among medical professionals. Researchers agreed that mobile health (mHealth) and data migration to the cloud will improve efficiency, EHR Intelligence reported. By installing mHealth applications, physicians can connect with their patients. MHealth also provides doctors with greater accessibility to records in order to make better treatment choices.
"These kinds of technologies have the potential to help people make the shift from being reactive to being proactive with their care," said Geeta Nayyar, the chief medical information officer for AT&T ForHealth.
Mobile devices improve patient care
A separate survey conducted by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) reaffirms AT&T's predictions that healthcare facilities will embrace technology to capture data and engage with others. The 2nd Annual Mobile Technology Survey found that 80 percent of physicians have adopted mobile devices to improve care for their patients. Although most physicians prefer to use laptops and workstations on wheels, more are choosing tablets to access electronic records.
According to HIMSS, physicians and patients download clinical applications to securely view private information. Some doctors also choose to prescribe medicine electronically, which can reduce the number of mistakes caused by misreading handwriting.
Experts agree that using mobile and cloud computing services can improve efficiency and save lives. However, as technology becomes a major part of the medical field, IT departments should put cloud security measures in place to protect patient information.
Decision-makers are encouraged to educate their staffs on the proper ways to access files in the cloud. They must also adhere to HIPAA standards and communicate with cloud vendors to determine the level of security provided by that service. IT departments are urged to install multiple levels of security and firewalls, and employ strong passwords to ensure security in the cloud.
-McAfee Cloud Security