Cloud computing has leveled up the technological landscape across the globe, enforcing and enabling industries to adopt the technology for better resource management. Data is cash, and it is of utmost importance for the healthcare sector since it holds a vast amount of sensitive data.
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Sadly, a majority of global healthcare across the world is still managed through traditional and legacy IT infrastructure that does not have accessibility nor transparency even within departments. SaaS-based cloud solutions have the capability to change the situation by enabling a common database for data management, improving the productivity and agility of healthcare workers, adopting innovation, and all at a reduced cost.
Let us dive into the article to know more about how SaaS-based cloud solutions can drive the healthcare industry to new heights of tech innovation.
SaaS for the Healthcare Industry
Software-as-a-Services is a centrally hosted, cloud-based licensing and delivery model where the software is licensed on a subscription basis, as long as the user wants. It is an on-demand software specifically designed for particular users or industries where a centrally managed database is of utmost importance for seamless management.
Healthcare SaaS is a unique innovation designed for the healthcare industries and professionals. It allows hospitals, professionals, and even patients to access necessary data and stay in touch with one another through a central data-sharing ecosystem. It effectively deploys cloud-based records like EHR, EMR, PACS, HIMS, empowering telehealth, ePharmacy, and even non-medical administration processes.
Statistical evidence projects that healthcare industries around the world are slowly implementing SaaS technologies for management, and it is rapidly growing at the rate of 20% every year. Overall, it seems like the cloud computing market, especially within the healthcare industry, is expected to reach $51.9 billion by 2024. This growth is partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which revealed the weak points of healthcare infrastructure and the challenges professionals have been facing even in a technologically-rich world.
Challenges of Implementing SaaS in the Healthcare Sector
Despite being one of the most critical service industries, the healthcare sector has always had to bear the brunt of a traditional legacy system and an IT infrastructure that is way backdated. It is partially and particularly because of reasons like data security and budgetary constraints they face from time to time that restrict them from implementing a cloud-based SaaS technology.
Here is a list of some of the challenges that slow down the implementation of SaaS technologies in the healthcare sector:
1. Skepticism around data security
Data security is usually of utmost concern for healthcare officials and administrators. This skepticism usually arises from the misconception that sensitive data over a public cloud database might leak out into the wrong hands. Moreover, it’s not just a matter of patients’ details, but information about medical trials, research works, finances, employees, and other logistical issues.
2. Lack of technical awareness and skills
Lack of information, awareness, and skills about cloud engineering is the devil slowing down the implementation of cloud-based technologies in the healthcare sector. The sector needs to focus on hiring trained professionals who can scale, manage, and maintain the applications or cloud environment, and ensure that its functionings are smooth.
The healthcare industry usually faces severe budget limitations and constraints that directly impact its technological landscape. While hospitals and institutions with grants are able to implement and even migrate from a legacy system to cloud, smaller institutions are unable to implement it.
4. Heavy dependence on a legacy system
Except for the hospitals that are entirely dependent on pen and paper, most institutions rely heavily on a legacy system that’s slow and expensive to manage. In addition, these legacy infrastructures have a divided database. It means, each department has its own software and attached database that makes it difficult for other departments or personnel to access the data. A high dependency on it also makes the administration reluctant to migrate over to a new environment.
Need for (SaaS) Speed: Healthcare Edition
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Speed, efficiency, and scalability are innate characteristics of SaaS, and today’s healthcare professionals can make use of it to their advantage. In a complex business environment with an utmost necessity for a seamless IT infrastructure within a low-cost model, SaaS provides an intriguing alternative to traditional on-site infrastructure.
1. Coordinated care for patients
A cloud-backed software with a centralized database repository allows both medical representatives and patients to interact and stay in touch through various means. Hospitals, doctors, and institutions can extend their services to patients who require assistance remotely, upload prescriptions, and keep a record of medical history.
The patient data or medical information can be accessed by various departments on-site and also by branches in separate geographical locations.
2. Collaboration and transparency
Medical personnel usually face the challenges of lack of transparency and unnecessarily bureaucratic processes that waste precious time and effort. The information needed from different departments or administrations can be crucial to save a patient’s life or conduct clinical trials from across remote locations. A SaaS-based cloud solution would allow medical personnel to collaborate well and improve productivity to a greater extent.
3. Data security
The healthcare industry has always been an easy target for data security breaches, leaking thousands of critical information to unknown hands. This calls for secured cloud-based services that are reliable and dependable in the long run.
SaaS solutions provide continuous security management with automated functionalities to ensure that the data stored over cloud are unbreachable and safe.
4. Scalability and agility
Healthcare professionals have to deal with data and information piling up on their desks and back offices. A cloud-based solution allows officials to transfer all data over a centralized data center that can be scaled as per requirements without worrying about adding new servers to the on-site infrastructure.
With high availability and collaboration, agility is improved, allowing better business performance and workflow.
5. Cost reduction
The IT industry has taken leaps and bounds to ensure that technology is accessible to all at a low cost, and yet, misconceptions or lack of awareness usually takes over. A SaaS-based cloud solution reduces costs for maintaining data as it is a service working on subscription. Administration and professionals can choose to take complete ownership of specific services for a period of time and pay for it accordingly on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis.
Maintenance costs are eliminated as SaaS service providers take full responsibility for providing a seamless service to their clients.
Transforming the Healthcare Sector
The healthcare sector is in dire need of transformation by integrating IT solutions that would allow them to grow and provide better services for patients across the globe. A SaaS-based cloud solution bridges the challenges of proximity to connect all stakeholders into one place. Scalability, performance, data security, and agility are just like cherries on top of a cake.
SaaS can solve deep-rooted infrastructure and administrative problems in the industry that mainly revolves around management, administration, transparency, and interdepartmental collaboration.
SaaS is the future that the light of this society – our healthcare industry – requires in the long run.