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The Importance of “The Cloud”

Over the past three years, IT budgets and incentive amounts have dropped from $6.3 billion in 2013 to $68 million in 2015.

The budgetary constraints has played a role in the accurate and up-to-date meaningful use data happening after a new system has been installed, implemented, and gone live.  Because of the monetary limitations clients are given, these newly installed systems are first enjoyed by the current stuff until the allowance runs its course.  After the IT staff is dismissed, the systems are then left without regular upkeep, rapidly outdating the programs that cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars to have implemented.

Just as important as the actual build, implementation, and live stages of a new system is the upkeep and updated maintenance to streamline data and obtain effective meaningful use.

However, a likely cause of the decrease in these budgets is the lack of upkeep in post implementation.  There is little motivation to continue to expend budgets once a brand new system is in place and the staff needed to keep the program in pristine condition is so expensive.  When the budgets have not been fully disbursed, it is easy to see the new program as completed and make use of budgets elsewhere.

Having spent so much time and efforts into creating a system that will benefit, hospitals, physicians, entire health systems and patients should have greater regards and a better outlook for the future of healthcare.  Reintegrating staff into the already installed systems however, would pose the problem of budget constraints.

An idea that has begun to take effect with skepticism is making use of cloud-based solutions.  In February, eClinicalWorks announced their association with Tidelands Health and stated their efforts to bring cloud integration to better understand and improve meaningful use data.
Earlier this month, Tableau Software announced their upcoming collaboration with Epic at HIMSS16.

Both eClinicalWorks and Tableau intend to integrate cloud usage to their clients to begin the restorative process of outdated data.

Cloud based solutions are expected to rise over the course of the year, especially in rural areas where the implementation and go-live stages are difficult to staff from the get-go.  Lastly, having one entire cloud of data accessible to different clients will save time, money, data efforts, and patient background investigation to larger health systems and smaller hospitals with out-patient locations where patient connection is common.