Hospitals more cautious about cloud adoption than physician practices

Hospitals and healthcare systems generally are taking a more cautious, staged approach to adopting cloud-based applications than are stand-alone providers--mainly physician practices--according to a new report from research firm KLAS.

According to the report, physician groups see cost and security benefits in linking up with larger organizations, such as hospitals, that can host ambulatory-care electronic health records remotely. In contrast, healthcare systems are more skeptical about the privacy and security of storing data in the cloud.

Overall, 71 percent of respondents to the KLAS survey either were using or considering adoption of cloud-based services. Among the reasons cited for going to the cloud: cost savings, availability, security, or disaster recovery. Providers said they were deploying or planning to deploy the cloud model for clinical applications, general data storage, e-mail or PACS.

Among hospitals, those with 500 to 1000 beds were most likely to consider use of the cloud, while bigger facilities were less likely to do so. Small to medium-sized institutions fell somewhere in between.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they were thinking about adoption of cloud-based applications, but only 35 percent of those had solid plans to do so, noted report author Erik Westerlind. Of the 55 percent of respondents that already were using the cloud, 23 percent had cloud-based EHRs.

Sixty percent of all respondents regarded cost savings as the greatest benefit of cloud computing, which can save money on onsite storage and infrastructure, as well as labor and hardware costs.

To learn more:
- read the KLAS press release
- see the CMIO article

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