83% of Health Care Organizations Use Cloud Services, Survey Finds

June 17, 2014 in News

Health care organizations are increasingly using cloud services to lower maintenance costs and meet their health IT needs, according to a survey by HIMSS Analytics, FierceHealthIT reports.

HIMSS Analytics is the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

The survey included 150 respondents, most of whom were hospital CIOs (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 6/16).

Survey Findings

Of the 83% of respondents who said their organization uses cloud services:

  • 86% said they use the cloud to host applications;
  • 79.3% said they use the cloud for disaster recovery and backup;
  • 78.7% said they use the cloud as their primary data storage system; and
  • 77.3% said they use the cloud for archived data.

When asked about what factors they considered when evaluating cloud service providers:

  • Nearly 66% of respondents cited the willingness to enter into business associate agreements;
  • 63.7% cited the physical and technical security of the cloud services provided; and
  • 60.5% cited compliance with regulations and laws.

However, the survey also found that health care organizations generally are not hiring additional staff members to aid with implementation of cloud services. Specifically, only 8.1% of respondents said they were hiring more staff with relevant cloud service experience as part of their implementation efforts.

According to the survey, most preparatory efforts were focused on improving network infrastructure, with nearly 50% of respondents reporting that they upgraded performance and monitoring capabilities before implementing cloud services.

The authors of the report wrote, “The future of cloud services is positive, especially among those health care organizations that already use cloud services,” adding, “Nearly all of the health care organizations presently using cloud services reported plans to expand use of cloud services in the future” (Murphy, EHR Intelligence, 6/16).

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