Healthcare providers could reduce costs by nine percent--$11 billion--over the next three years through the adoption of IT-as-a-service models, according to a report by the public-private partnership MeriTalk and EMC Corp.
The findings are based on a survey of 109 members of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), according to an announcement.
Ninety-four percent of respondents say they already have purchased at least part of their IT portfolio "as a service," divided up in the following ways:
- 87 percent have purchased software or applications as a service, such as virtualization.
- 22 percent have purchased platforms or complete environments, which can help increase the use of private and hybrid clouds.
- 18 percent have purchased infrastructure-as-a-service.
While just 15 percent of the respondents' IT portfolios are delivered as a service now, they estimate that 47 percent has the potential to be delivered through private, hybrid or public clouds. They said 32 percent will of their portfolios will run on that model in the next three years, according to an infographic.
Ninety percent said they believe IT innovation is key to their organization's success. To that end,
- 87 percent are deploying virtualization
- 73 percent are streamlining IT operations
- 48 percent are centralizing IT management
Their top three goals are achieving Stage 2 Meaningful Use, preparing for accountable care and improving information security.
Healthcare has been slower to adopt cloud technology than other industries. It ranked seventh out of eight industries--ahead of only state and local governments--in a survey by technology vendor CDW.
Cloud storage has been hailed by some as the answer to the massive proliferation of data and to enable image sharing. Seattle's Harborview Medical Center also found a virtual private network (VPN) enabled image sharing that reduced the need for repeat CT scans.
However, a discussion panel at the recent Health Privacy Summit in Washington, D.C., shared many privacy and security concerns yet to be worked out as the industry moves more applications to the cloud.