May 17, 2020

4 reasons to take your medical records to the cloud

3 min
With a cloud-based system, hospitals and clinics are not hampered by expansion costs.
Hospitals and clinics are always striving to find new ways to accomplish the same goal—providing excellent patient care.

One of the ways that is...

Hospitals and clinics are always striving to find new ways to accomplish the same goal—providing excellent patient care.

One of the ways that is happening is through cloud-based electronic health record (EHR) systems.

Electronic health records make it easier to access patient data and communicate with other members of the team. Using a cloud system has even greater benefits for the medical facility.

Increased security

With growing concern over privacy and security of confidential information, hospitals appreciate the benefit of storing data in the cloud instead of maintaining it on their own servers.

RELATED TOPIC: How Cloud Computing is Changing the Health Care IT Industry

They have less risk of system failure or worries over unauthorized access to patient files.

Many of these cloud-based systems have highly stringent security features that are comparable with bank security.

Hospitals, clinics and patients can feel confident that the information is as safe as possible with these systems.

Cost effective

As the following article looks at, small facilities may worry about the cost of switching over to these cloud-based EHR systems.

However, the savings over time is worth any initial cost. Medical facilities can employ a reduced IT staff and reduce the amount of funding needed for data storage.

Small hospitals like the Mary Johnston Hospital in Manila Philippines proves that facilities with limited IT staff and resources can convert to cloud storage and benefit from its effectiveness.

The same system that was used in the Mary Johnston Hospital was also implemented in the Congo in a four-bed ICU facility.

It not only allows the clinics to compete with larger facilities, it helps them provide better patient care than what would be possible otherwise.

Improved accessibility to patient data

Because health care providers can access information from wherever they are, patient treatment improves.

Patients can receive updated instructions and have their care plans altered more quickly to facilitate recovery at a faster rate.

A doctor no longer has to wait to see the patient and handle the patient's records to order a change. He or she can read the latest data from the rest of the team and make decisions immediately.

RELATED TOPIC: Five Safety Measures Organizations Should Practice When Adopting Cloud

This benefit is seen outside the facility as well as within its walls.

Patients who must see multiple providers can receive more effective treatments when all providers have access to the same information. When one physician makes a change in medication or treatment, the other medical providers will see the change. They can access their own data to determine if other changes are needed.

Continued growth

With a cloud-based system, hospitals and clinics are not hampered by expansion costs.

As the facility grows, the EHR system grows with it. There is less need for updates within the facility, causing downtime or lengthening patient care. Adding new patients or doctors and other staff is almost effortless.

At the same time, you can limit who has access to what information, which increases security.

Cloud-based EHR programs are gaining in popularity as more hospitals and clinics see the benefits.

They are no longer intimidated by the concept and see the advantages that come with implementing such a system.

About the author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including health care and finance.

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Jun 18, 2021

Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool 

2 min
Skin Analytics uses AI to detect skin cancer and will be deployed across the NHS to ease patient backlogs

An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system. 

NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion. 

Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making. 

In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog. 

Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening. 

DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.

Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges. 

"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”

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