Healthcare organizations are adopting cloud-based services as an alternative to traditional information technology (IT) services, according to a recent survey from HIMSS Analytics.
Across the United States, 82.7 percent of the 150 respondents of the 2014 HIMSS Analytics Cloud Survey reported that their healthcare organization currently uses cloud services. An additional 9.3 percent stated they were planning to begin using cloud services.
The top three reasons for adopting cloud services were lower maintenance costs, speed of deployment and lack of internal staffing resources. Half of the respondents using cloud services reported using these services to host clinical applications, primarily using Software as a Service (SaaS).
“Cloud services have been long praised as a tool to reduce operating expenses for healthcare organizations. The data presented in our inaugural survey demonstrates the healthcare industry’s eagerness to leverage this resource,” said Lorren Pettit, vice president of Market Research for HIMSS Analytics. “With such a positive market outlook, we hope vendors will leverage the business intelligence gleaned from this report, continue working with providers to meet their needs, and help healthcare organizations provide the most cost-efficient care.”
Not all healthcare organizations are willing to embrace cloud services however. Security issues, both technical and physical, and the willingness to enter into a Business Associate Assignment (BAA) were identified as key concerns for healthcare organizations seeking cloud services.
Even after a cloud services provider has been selected and the services adopted by the organization, challenges still remain. Two-thirds of healthcare organizations cited performance issues, including costs and fees, lack of visibility into ongoing operations, and customer service.
Six percent of survey respondents noted that their healthcare organization would not be using cloud services in the future, stating security concerns were the primary barrier to their willingness to adopt.
“Many healthcare CIOs and others have expressed their intention to use cloud services. However, there are some challenges related to use in healthcare and these are what we hoped to uncover,” said Lisa Gallagher, vice president of Technology Solutions for HIMSS. “Our next step is for the healthcare industry to work with cloud service providers to move forward together in addressing these challenges.”
To learn about the survey, visit www.himssanalytics.org.