Why Choose Cloud-Native Services for Data Interoperability? Here Are 5 Benefits

| Author , tagged in HITRUST
Cloudticity, L.L.C.

In the past few decades, the volume of data generated in the healthcare industry has grown tremendously. New laws, such as the HITECH Act, have accelerated the digitization of healthcare records. Meanwhile, a proliferation of healthcare devices, including wearables, has produced new streams of personal telemetry data. And the increasing affordability of genomic sequencing has led to a rise in available genomic data.

Integrating all of this data—and enabling data interoperability among healthcare systems—can have important benefits for providers, payers, and patients. For example, if providers and payers can create a single, comprehensive view of each patient, they can improve outcomes and lower costs.

But integrating data is not easy, especially since those data might exist in a variety of formats and use multiple coding systems. Traditional data integration engines and relational databases might have worked fine years ago, but these legacy solutions are costly to maintain, do not scale well, and often store data in proprietary formats that are not easily accessible using modern tools and apps.

Adopting a cloud-native approach can help overcome the challenges of data interoperability. By assembling and optimizing the right collection of cloud-native services—from compute, storage, database, and data transformation services to advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) services—your organization can leverage the full potential of healthcare data while reducing the costs of traditional in-house solutions and increasing flexibility.

What could your organization gain by capitalizing on cloud-native services? 

  1. 1. Create a holistic view of each patient. 

A single patient event – like visiting an ER for chest pain – can generate data in multiple systems, often in a variety of formats. That event might produce admission, discharge, transfer (ADT) notifications; imaging data; chart notes; pharmacy orders; and more. And that data might remain separate from the patient’s existing electronic medical record, previously collected genomic data, and behavioral health information. 

Integrating and analyzing all of that data in a consolidated, cloud-native environment could help build a longitudinal record that presents a more holistic, 360-degree view of the patient. Giving providers fast, easy access to that view could then help accelerate clinical decision-making and ultimately improve outcomes.

Payers can also benefit from consolidating data in a single environment. By bringing together data from numerous members, payers can identify the small percentage of members who generate the largest percentage of claims. With that insight, payers can engage those members using targeted, digital strategies designed to help members address healthcare risks, like enrolling these members in health and wellness programs or texting them reminders to make their next appointment. 

  1. 2. Reduce IT costs. 

Moving from traditional tools and an on-premises IT environment to cloud-native services can dramatically reduce costs. First and foremost, migrating to the cloud eliminates the capital costs of infrastructure. With cloud-native services, you no longer need to buy or maintain servers and storage hardware. You can avoid purchasing hardware not only for a primary environment but also for a redundant, high-availability environment. You pay only for the services you use, as you use them. 

Cloud-native services also help reduce operating expenses. Administrators no longer have to fix physical infrastructure, patch operating systems, update applications, or continuously manage security. Without the need for a large data center, you can also avoid power and cooling costs as well as the fees for moving data into and out of that data center. And without running proprietary solutions on premises, you can eliminate licensing costs. 

Importantly, you can focus your IT staff on more strategic tasks than keeping the lights on. Administrators can support projects that drive business and clinical value. 

  1. 3. Facilitate developer innovation.

Adopting cloud-native services enables your developers to tap into advanced technologies, such as AI, machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP).  With access to those and other capabilities, they can more easily create innovative apps – apps that provide patients access to their own health data, improve accuracy of scans, deliver clinical insight based on extensive comorbidity data, or speed integration of clinical notes into electronic health records. 

Providers and payers can also use these cloud-based technologies to improve operational efficiency in ways that benefit patients. For example, a hospital might analyze ADT data to formulate strategies for reducing wait times in its ER. 

When you make the move to cloud-native services, your developers do not have the burden of working with legacy tools. You don’t have to be stuck trying to build a better integration engine or upgrading a database. Instead of taking an evolutionary approach, you can leap forward, using the latest open-source tools and technologies to produce groundbreaking innovations. 

  1. 4. Monetize your data.

Healthcare data is extremely valuable, especially if you can successfully integrate data from multiple sources. Health information exchange (HIE) organizations can use cloud-native services as a way to aggregate and clean data as a service for other organizations, such as payers. Immunoprofiling services can use the cloud to collect and prepare data that can be sold to university labs and research organizations.

And of course, monetization does not have to be limited to selling data. Using integrated data to create innovative patient apps, identify at-risk members, or improve efficiencies can also have significant monetary benefits. 

  1. 5. Accelerate time to market.

Regardless of your primary data interoperability goal, adopting cloud-native services can help speed up that journey. Integrating data in-house can be very time-consuming, whether you are using a traditional database or implementing new data exchange standards, such as FHIR. Simply purchasing, standing up, and configuring the hardware can take months. The actual data integration and interoperability work can extend that timeframe substantially.

By contrast, you can have new cloud-native services up and running in a matter of minutes. With the cloud, you are able to provision a rack of servers with API calls. Accelerating the time to market can help you create a holistic patient view, build a new app, monetize data, or realize another objective quickly. 

(Learn how the New York State Department of Health worked with Cloudticity to use cloud-native services for rapidly integrating COVID-19 patient data.) 


Streamline the move to cloud-native services with the Cloudticity Healthcare DataHub

Cloud-native services have impressive potential for enabling data interoperability and allowing you to concentrate on key organizational goals. But while these services seem modular in design, selecting and connecting the right cloud-native services can be challenging. 

Cloudticity Healthcare DataHub™ is an end-to-end data integration, interoperability, and analytics solution built on cloud-native services. It lets you bring together a wide variety of patient data in a single, consolidated environment, using a common language, and gain a clear view of that data through a single dashboard. With Cloudticity Healthcare DataHub, you can avoid the costly, complex work of data integration and instead focus on your goals of generating new insights, improving care, reducing costs, or driving business growth.

To explore the Cloudticity Healthcare DataHub, check out this on-demand demo of the solution.

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