Cloud platform deals stabilize performance, improve patient care
Cloud platform adoption continues to transform healthcare by ramping up computing performance while improving provider and patient capabilities. Two recent implementations illustrate what’s possible.
A stable and patient-friendly cloud platform
In late August, Microsoft posted that eClinicalWorks (eCW) had migrated its electronic health record (EHR) platform to an implementation of Azure virtual machines and disk storage. Previously, eCW relied on a co-location hosting model, which required adding servers and storage devices as it introduced new customers.
“We took a step back and asked: Is this the model we want to live in?” commented Bharat Satyanarayan, eCW’s vice president of technology and quality assurance. “We decided to reduce the overall management of our hardware and monitoring of our services by moving to the public cloud.”
eCW now runs more than 2,200 Azure virtual machines spread over multiple regions. In a typical cluster of server databases, eCW deploys two virtual machines for zone redundancy and one for disaster recovery in a different location. A unique back-end database is logically separated from the shared infrastructure.
eCW will complement the core migration—estimated to be about 99 percent complete—by moving up to 70 EHR component services to the new cloud platform.
The company expects customers to benefit from the cloud solution’s more stable and predictable performance environment. Emerging functions will enable contactless patient check-ins and electronic payments.
A holistic view of data
In mid-September, LifePoint Health, a community-based care delivery network, announced a multiyear partnership to implement Google Cloud’s Healthcare Data Engine (HDE) across its facilities in 29 states. HDE will facilitate data interoperability across Lifepoint’s disparate EHR systems, giving clinical teams a more complete view of their patients’ health.
The implementation provides advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities in a secure and scalable environment. Cloud technology also extends care to communities outside of urban areas, according to LifePoint, by making data interoperable for in-person and virtual care settings.
“Bringing data together from hundreds of sources, and applying AI and machine learning to it, will unlock the power of data to make real-time decisions, whether it is around resource utilization, identifying high-risk patients, reducing physician burnout, or other critical needs,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud.
The rollout supports HIPAA compliance and conforms to LifePoint’s security and privacy controls and processes for protection of patient data.
Related article: How healthcare can close the cloud security gaps that stall adoption
David Dill, CEO of LifePoint, called the collaboration “a milestone in our pursuit of advancing community-based care.” He added that the agility and security of the cloud solution would “enhance how we deliver the right care to our patients at the right time and through the right channels.”
Frank Irving is a Philadelphia-based content writer and communications consultant specializing in healthcare, technology and sports.