By Christine Kern, contributing writer
HIMSS finds 83 percent of healthcare organization using cloud services and most plan on expanding use of it in the future.
As more and more healthcare providers adopt cloud services to host applications and data using a SaaS model, HIMSS Analytics released findings from the 2014 HIMSS Analytics Cloud Survey of healthcare organizations to determine what challenges, barriers, and successes they might be having with cloud services.
The survey found 83 percent of healthcare organizations currently use cloud services. Nearly half of these respondents are using the services to host clinical applications, with the majority hosting data using Software-as-a-Service models. Other key areas where respondents are adopting cloud capability include health information exchange, hosting human resources applications and data, and back up and disaster recovery.
Of the healthcare organizations surveyed that are currently using cloud services, almost all of them expect to expand their use in the future, while two-thirds of those currently not utilizing clouds have plans to start. Popular areas for expanded cloud use include hosting of archived data, back up and disaster recovery, and hosting of operational data.
While adoption plans might be in the sights of many organizations, only 4 percent of respondents not using the cloud have immediate plans to engage such services, and few of these organizations are presently in contract negotiations with a cloud services provider.
The key factors involved in the decision to adopt a cloud services provider include security issues, such as the physical or technical security of cloud services providers, and a cloud services provider’s willingness to enter into a business associate agreement.
Other key survey results include:
Few respondents reported that they would move away from their current cloud services provider in the event that promised service levels were not achieved. Instead, half of respondents indicated that their healthcare organization would either accept service level credits or give their cloud services provider another chance to perform satisfactorily, namely, meeting the promised service levels.
Not surprisingly, 75 percent of cloud-using respondents to the survey favor either a private cloud service or hybrid cloud services instead of a public cloud service. Only 6 percent of respondents indicated that their healthcare organization would not use cloud services in the future. And, nearly half of these respondents cited security concerns as a key factor keeping them from using cloud services.