News Feature | June 18, 2014

80% Of Providers Use The Cloud

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

Most Healthcare Providers Use Cloud

HIMSS Analytics published it’s first-ever Cloud Survey, which asked 150 healthcare organizations how they use the cloud and what they planned on using in the future. An overwhelming 80 percent of respondents indicated they already use cloud-based services, and the survey further found almost all providers plan to expand that use.

“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 in an announcement. “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.”

The top reasons for adopting the cloud were: lower maintenance costs, speed of deployment, and lack of internal staffing resources. The most common uses for the cloud included using clinical apps and data, accessing health information exchanges, using HR apps and data, and as a backup in case of disaster. The study’s accompanying infographic shows the top reasons for selecting a cloud provider were willingness to enter into a business associate agreement and physical and technical security.

Thirty-three percent reported one obstacle to cloud usage was slow response times. Another 23 percent said downtime and unavailability were the biggest performance issues. Other challenges included operations visibility, customer service, costs and fees, availability and uptime, migration of services or data, and contractual issues. Interestingly, 38 percent reported no challenges at all.

Only 6 percent of those surveyed expressed an unwillingness to adopt the cloud, mostly citing security reasons. “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.”