Orchard Software has taken its 25 plus years of laboratory IT experience and combined it with the latest technologies to offer cloud hosting services. Knowing the importance of safeguarding protected health information (PHI) and of meeting regulatory requirements such as HIPAA and HITECH, Orchard now offers cloud services that can improve the security and reliability of your system and your patient data, and ease the burden on over-worked IT staff.
Security as a Top Priority
Healthcare comes with unique security challenges and is often a target for ransomware attacks and phishing attempts because the industry has historically lagged behind in maintaining security measures. A cloud-based system can increase the security of PHI as the bulk of security measures and liability are off-loaded to the cloud vendor who has the resources and economy of scale to make security a top priority. For example, a healthcare worker could physically lose a laptop that has PHI. This scenario is a potential breach that could result in heavy fines for the organization. However, if the healthcare organization (HCO) is utilizing cloud services, the computer can be remotely wiped, eliminating any opportunity for the data to be inappropriately accessed. Not only is your data more secure, the time your IT team spends managing the system is greatly reduced.
Increased Availability of Systems & Data
In a healthcare setting, it is critical to have continual access to systems and patient data, so it is of utmost importance to have high availability, including a failover plan in case of an unexpected disaster. To maintain high availability, a HCO must have a recovery strategy and server failover options. Disaster recovery plans must be thoroughly planned out, tested, and documented to ensure reliable access to systems.
In the event of a failure, today’s cloud-hosted solutions enable near seamless transfer from one data center to a backup parallel data center. In parallel with stronger security measures, cloud systems increase data redundancy and system availability (uptime) by automating backups and disaster recovery options. This added data protection means that a HCO does not lose vital patient data and can minimize downtime. In a natural disaster or technology failure, a cloud provider has multiple options to maintain a system with virtually no downtime. With the cloud, IT departments can maintain nearly seamless continuity in service provision.
Predictable, Level Costs
With an on-premise solution, where typically 75% of budget dollars are spent to maintain the infrastructure, there is not much left in the budget for new IT technologies or innovation. With cloud-based solutions, HCOs have access to the latest technologies within a reasonable budget and can decrease their internal IT overhead costs.
Rather than having a large expenditure for hardware that must be updated or replaced every three to five years, with the cloud, a HCO pays for a subscription service that becomes an operating expense based on their scale. This allows organizations to use the money that would have been required to build a robust IT infrastructure in other operational areas. In effect, HCOs that use a cloud-based solution can obtain a cost-effective IT solution without the capital layout or expenditure for internal IT staff to maintain and service the infrastructure. In addition, for many healthcare facilities, access to the most up-to-date technologies can be a competitive edge that makes a difference in their bottom line.
Enhanced System Performance
In a cloud deployment, installation of operating system, database, and application software updates are automated. With a hosted LIS, you have access to the most up-to-date technology, best practices, skilled resources, and regular updates to help enhance the services you provide and allow you to focus on providing the best patient care possible.
For the laboratory, cloud-based solutions can be a highly effective method for expertly managing data, resources, and workflows in a cost-effective, secure manner that reduces the need for IT staff with lab expertise.
Orchard Cloud Services offer a secure, reliable, and cost-effective hosting environment for LISs, where clients are hosted in fully redundant, HIPAA-compliant data centers that protect and secure critical applications. Orchard hosting ensures that information systems are always accessible, allowing our laboratory customers to focus on providing high quality patient care.
More Resources to Help You Decide if the Cloud is Right for Your Lab