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Level 3: More Health-Care Providers Are Adopting Cloud

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A Level 3 Communications survey provides further evidence that health-care providers increasingly are turning to the cloud for cost savings, disaster recovery and scalable platforms to support their internal needs.

Level 3's Karin RatchinskyThe 2016 Cloud Survey, conducted by HIMSS Analytics, includes responses from more than 100 IT decision makers at medium-to large hospital systems and their corporate offices across the United States.

The likelihood of health-care providers planning to adopt cloud-based services for key use cases – such as back-office services, business continuity and disaster recovery, archiving data, health-information exchange and HR or financial applications – increased 65 percent in the last two years, according to the survey.

Karin Ratchinsky, Level 3’s director of health-care strategy, tells Channel Partners that “we’ve finally moved past the tipping point in cloud adoption for health care.” What’s most notable about the study is the ability to host patient-empowerment tools topped the list of the most frequently cited cloud implementations, followed by the need to access compute cycles capable of executing big-data analytics and the need to satisfy business requirements like picture archiving and communication system (PACS) storage, she said.{ad}

“For enterprises, security is no longer the No. 1 obstacle to cloud adoption – it is lack of resources or technical expertise, according to RightScale’s 2016 State of the Cloud survey,” she said. “While the health-care space doesn’t seem to share that sentiment just yet, given the value of personal health information (PHI) and the prevalence of data breaches and hacks today, it suggests that the skills gap issue will become a more notable concern as health-care cloud adoption continues to grow. If the channel can address that need by serving as consultants and trusted partners, it will be a win-win for all sides.”

Health-care providers are employing cloud services for both PHI and non-PHI applications, according to the survey.

Some 77 percent of respondents said they involve their network provider early in cloud-strategy discussions.

“The health-care space is undergoing rapid and transformative change,” Ratchinsky said. “As the implications from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continue to unwind, cloud is becoming ever more integral to enabling telemedicine and mHealth applications to the end patient. In order to realize the promise of this transformation, health-care providers need agile, secure and scalable platforms – and a consultative approach to deploying them.”


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