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Multicloud by design in action: The benefits of hosted EHR

Healthcare organizations moving to multicloud environments must weigh their options for managing and hosting their electronic health record.
By admin
Oct 16, 2023, 10:17 AM

Note: This is the third in a three-article series on multicloud for healthcare organizations. The first piece covered the benefits of the multicloud by design adoption strategy, and the second provided a deeper dive on the five main advantages of multicloud by design.


Considerable momentum is building for healthcare organizations to transition to the cloud. Nearly 80% of organizations have deployed cloud technology. Among those that have, 84% have said it’s easier to maintain regulatory compliance, 80% report operational improvements, and 94% recommended cloud adoption to their peers.

Unfortunately, success isn’t guaranteed when moving to the cloud. More than 70% of organizations have moved applications back on-premises after initially migrating to the public cloud, in large part because costs can increase significantly if organizations take their eyes off cloud management and operations.

It’s important to understand that moving beyond an on-premises data center doesn’t solely have to mean a wholesale move to public cloud infrastructure. While the public cloud is preferred for its agility and scalability, healthcare organizations generally turn to the private cloud when they need risk mitigation, high performance, and cost containment. Increasingly, organizations are also looking to the edge to process data from an ever-growing number of external sources before pushing it to the data center.

The Dell Alliances Healthcare Cloud, built on Rackspace Technology, was created specifically to support healthcare’s critical workloads in multicloud environments. Organizations gain the flexibility to host workloads in the optimal location. Critically, this can include colocation facilities that provide cloud adjacency, running workloads milliseconds away from public cloud hyperscalers but within the regulated environment of private infrastructure. This arrangement also offers simplicity, with a single architecture for public, private, and edge locations and a single monthly bill for hosting and managing cloud services.

Hosting electronic health record (EHR) systems in the cloud illustrates the benefits of this approach. The typical healthcare organization has multiple workflows running in the cloud, from email to business applications to research, so it makes sense to move EHRs to the cloud at some point as well.

Health systems must tread carefully, however. The EHR is the lifeblood of the organization – enabling clinical teams to view vital information, place orders and prescriptions, and make vital care decisions quickly. It’s imperative for an organization’s clinical care and business operations that the EHR is available 24/7/365. At the same time, managing and maintaining an EHR system on-premises can be difficult and expensive. This requires significant investment in infrastructure and staff, which often leaves fewer resources to support other valuable IT initiatives.

Here, a solution such as hosted Epic on the Dell Alliances Healthcare Cloud enables healthcare organizations to offload EHR management and operations to an experienced service provider. Hosting an EHR system in its own off-premises, cloud-adjacent environment offers advantages such as proximity to hyperscalers and geographic diversity to support disaster recovery. Standard contracts, which include competitive pricing models, 99.99% uptime guarantees, and mutually negotiated terms and conditions, further protect organizations from the typical trappings of a cloud deployment. Organizations also benefit from access to EHR-specific certified service management capabilities – capabilities that ease the transition to multicloud but are often in short supply.

Perhaps the biggest advantage, though, is that a transition to supporting Epic as a Service also sets the stage to move other Tier 1 applications to the cloud. There’s no shortage of third-party applications that benefit from integration with EHR systems, including enterprise data management, enterprise resource planning, pharmacy ordering, and image archiving. Moving these applications not only helps organizations better connect them to their EHRs; it also advances their efforts to minimize their data center footprint, improves latency, and reduces and simplifies administrative costs by consolidating hosting and management onto a single, monthly bill.

As healthcare organizations transition more enterprise applications to multicloud environments, sooner or later leadership will have to consider the future of their EHR systems. The decision to move EHRs to the cloud shouldn’t be made lightly – and it should account for how other enterprise systems may also benefit from the cloud. Solutions such as the Dell Alliances Healthcare Cloud, built on Rackspace Technology, can help organizations manage their cloud transition and simplify hosting while remaining aligned with their IT and business strategies.

The past few years were a challenging time for care providers, but the resultant need for real-time information provided opportunities to innovate at an unprecedented pace. As healthcare and life sciences organizations focus on the road ahead, they must develop the agility to pivot quickly to overcome new clinical and business challenges in this data-driven environment. Working with our partner ecosystem, Dell Technologies comes alongside healthcare and life sciences organizations with a focused, deliberate approach to help them navigate the evolving patient care continuum and the current market volatility – allowing them to deliver on the promise of a healthier future. To learn more, visit Dell Technoloiges Healthcare online

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