Jun 06 2023

How to Transform the Patient Experience with Cloud Tools

Cloud infrastructure offers efficient and cost-saving IT solutions, enabling healthcare organizations to elevate the patient experience and improve care delivery and outcomes.

The healthcare industry is one of the fastest adopters of cloud technology, and the demand for cloud in healthcare is expected to keep rising. According to a 2019 Report from Global Market Insights, by 2025, the global healthcare cloud computing market should exceed $55 billion.

The widespread adoption of cloud infrastructure by healthcare organizations of all sizes — despite data privacy, integrity and security concerns — speaks to its advantages in delivering computing services that benefit healthcare stakeholders, including patients. 

In particular, organizations can maximize cloud tools to improve patient care, engagement and outcomes while conserving capital and human resources that can be redirected to enhance the patient experience. Here are four ways to use cloud tools to support better patient experiences:

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1. Store, Manage and Share Patient Information Securely and Efficiently

Because of its ubiquity, the cloud supports more efficient patient information storage, management and sharing, enhancing access to up-to-date information for providers and patients and providing for better collaboration and alignment among care teams. On top of that, its scalability enables healthcare organizations to cope cost-effectively with massive (and constantly growing) volumes of patient information while keeping data secure, says Kenneth Harper, vice president of Dragon Ambient eXperience at Nuance.

Cloud infrastructure allows healthcare providers to store and access patient data in a centralized, secure and highly available manner, says Michael Coen, CTO at TeleTracking, an integrated healthcare operations platform provider. 

Harper agrees, emphasizing that this is one of the key ways the cloud improves the patient experience: It enables all stakeholders on the healthcare continuum to share and access relevant information quickly and easily, from any device.

For example, cloud-based electronic health records can provide a centralized platform for managing patient information. Cloud-based patient portals can allow patients to access their health information, communicate with providers and schedule appointments online. 

Cloud-based mobile applications can deliver personalized, real-time healthcare information to those who need it, Coen adds. For example, a mobile app can inform family members of their loved one’s surgery status or let healthcare providers check a patient’s progress remotely.

These cloud-based patient engagement systems enable patients to be more proactive and involved in their care, Harper adds.

EXPLORE: How to set up cloud transformations for success in healthcare.

2. Supporting Advanced Analytics of Patient Data

The cloud’s storage and processing capabilities promote efficient patient data analytics, providing healthcare organizations with actionable insights that help them deliver timely, accurate and personalized care for better patient outcomes. 

Harper explains that cloud-based, AI-powered “copilot” tools allow clinicians to automatically complete clinical notes at the point of care, easily find relevant information and access evidence-based decision support.

Ambient clinical intelligence hosted in the cloud is another relevant technology. This type of system automatically captures the entire patient story and the clinician’s medical decision-making history. It then generates a complete clinical note in the electronic medical record system for clinicians to review and sign.

A cloud-based image-sharing network connected to AI-powered tools provides another efficiency boost. According to Harper, this type of system can help radiologists spot hidden diagnostic clues better and get diagnostic insights to downstream care teams much faster. 

“These capabilities improve the quality and speed of care, significantly impacting patient experiences and outcomes,” Harper says.

3. Greater Collaboration Among Healthcare Stakeholders

“Working in the cloud has the potential to connect everyone in the healthcare ecosystem, including primary care, clinical specialists, ambulatory and in-patient care teams, social services, research facilities, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers and technology solution vendors such as Nuance,” says Harper. This collaboration helps ensure that every patient has the best experience and care possible. 

Specifically, the cloud facilitates better and faster communication among clinicians, clinical teams and patients, accelerating the healthcare journey, Harper notes.

Efficient collaboration among healthcare stakeholders using cloud-based tools enables clinicians to deliver more effective care.

LEARN MORE: How data encryption and zero trust can help protect patient information.

4. Robust Protection of Patient Information and Privacy

With its enhanced security features — including encryption, firewalls, access controls, intrusion prevention and detection systems, regular backups, and compliance with industry standards and regulations — cloud infrastructure offers higher levels of security compared with traditional on-premises solutions, Coen says, mitigating the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access. 

By ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of patient data, cloud infrastructure fosters trust between patients and healthcare providers, he adds. Patients can feel confident that their personal information is protected and will be more likely to engage with the healthcare system and actively participate in their own care.

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