Report: Healthcare organizations are moving to the cloud at different speeds

Payers and providers are moving to the cloud, but adoption levels vary widely depending on each organization’s priorities.

Increasingly, hospital CIOs are ditching their data centers in favor of the cloud, and some have predicted that data centers will be extinct in just a matter of years. Sutter Health Chief Technology Officer Wes Wright recently said the cloud offers “a level of elasticity that we could never achieve in our own data centers.”

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But healthcare payers and providers are at varying levels of the cloud adoption maturity curve, according to an IDC MaturityScape: Cloud in Healthcare 2.0 report, which lays out a pathway for optimized cloud use among healthcare organizations. While some organizations are using the cloud on an ad hoc basis for specific apps or pilot projects, others have adopted an “enterprise-wide approach.” Organizations at the upper echelon of cloud adoption are using cloud computing to drive down costs and speed up delivery while leveraging new technology for value-based payment initiatives.

The report authors note that payer and provider CIOs generally see cloud computing as a critical element to support mobile health initiatives and data analytics, but most prefer a subscription-based approach to cloud services.

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Experts say the cloud will factor in heavily as payers and providers begin integrating digital tools to support patient care. Even the Department of Health and Human Services, which currently uses cloud-based services for 18% of its operations, wants to have 30% of its systems in the cloud by the end of the year.