The cloud is an enabler. All kinds of workflows can be streamlined, and productivity can be enhanced. Let us look at an example of how cloud computing can help hospitals improve information flows and speed up health care operations.
Hospitals have unique issues. The number of beds available for patients is limited. The waiting lists are long. Most of the patients are cared for as outpatients and this results in huge daily inflows and the emergency departments and behavioural health departments are flooded with patients requiring assistance. In short, there is a high volume of activity that must be handled efficiently and effectively, with least amount of inconvenience to patients. The staffs encounter a number of challenges. The hurdles that impact workflow will have to be addressed. How can cloud computing help?
Traditional computing systems force the staff to rely on a number of applications that run on PCs. These applications may be hosted on site or offsite. Interoperability challenges would be many. There will be productivity issues that demand a number of log on and log off operations that slow down access. Computing and information access would cause infinite delays and medical staff would be grappling with technical issues rather than working with the patients and their treatments.
Cloud computing systems offer sophisticated software applications that ease the work of hospitals and health care units. Cloud based systems, separate the underlying hardware infrastructure layer from the application layer and facilitate the creation of a single user login for all kinds of applications that may be deployed from the cloud server.
The desktop is separated from the operating system and management of technology is abstracted to the cloud. This creates a dynamic composition of user workspaces sans technical problems. Interoperability of applications becomes a possibility and this, improves overall clinical productivity. The anywhere, anytime accessibility of the cloud synchronises well with the fast-paced environment of hospitals, and has a direct impact on the way staffs can work with patients. Many of the challenges faced by the staff can be eliminated and patient care can be the focus of all health care workers.
The felt advantages of the cloud are:
- High speed access to information;
- Abstraction of underlying infrastructure from the application layer;
- Centralisation of technology management;
- Greater interoperability;
- Personalised user spaces sans;
- Smooth workflows;
- Improved patient care.