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Keep your feet on the ground and your data in the clouds

by Sean Ruck , Contributing Editor
From the June 2019 issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News magazine

Hardcopy patient records are becoming a bit like payphones — you can still find them if you look hard enough, but they’re a bit of a novelty due to technology providing more convenient solutions. Dr. Gautam Sivakumar, CEO and founder of Medisas, a company working to improve hospital infrastructure hopes to make hardcopy patient records more like the telegraph — something people might only come across in a historical setting — and on-site digital storage will be more like payphones are today, as cloud solutions take over.

Sivakumar is focused on improving process and removing pain points for healthcare professionals. He believes the rise of cloud-based data warehousing platforms and infrastructure being developed specifically with healthcare in mind is a near-term inevitability, especially with major tech players turning their eye to the industry.

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Sivakumar acknowledges that lack of access to high-quality healthcare data and the complexity of healthcare has hobbled tech’s ability to provide effective solutions. Tech companies are committed to enter this space, however, and are investing large amounts of money and talent to overcome these obstacles. Hospitals are hopeful that these companies can bring some of the processes and attitude to healthcare, helping to enforce best practices and ultimately improve quality of care.

But why should hospitals care? It’s a bottom line answer. If the tech industry builds their platforms and services in the right way, updating and upgrading shouldn’t require staffing increases. In fact, it should allow for increased efficiency in the day-to-day workflow, translating to less stressful work environments, lower employee turnover and better patient care.

With data breaches fairly common today, some hospitals may be reluctant to head to the cloud, but according to Sivakumar, data breaches are often the result of social engineering attacks (i.e., an employee clicks a link in a spoofed email), or from a lack of technology, such as when papers or passwords are left sitting around or laptops are lost or left open. Cloud-stored data on well-built infrastructure are appropriately encrypted and stored and maintained by competent teams. Since it’s an economy of scale for cloud vendors managing numerous customers, they’re more likely to hire more security experts than the average hospital. They’re also more likely to be able to dedicate a greater portion of their resources to continuous monitoring and upgrades of infrastructure.
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