The healthcare industry is one sector currently under immense pressure to transform IT operations. New technologies, increasing regulations, and the move to electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records (EHRs) are creating massive amounts of healthcare data.
EMRs and EHRs have dramatically changed the healthcare industry by standardizing the delivery of medical records, reducing errors, improving patient care, and lowering costs.
Imagine someone is injured on vacation and requires a life-saving operation far away from their local healthcare provider. In years past, hospital staff would need to run numerous tests and contact the patient’s healthcare provider to determine blood-type, potential lethal allergies to anesthetics and medications, and/or any pre-existing conditions – all of which would take precious time.
The advent of EMRs and EHRs mean that doctors and healthcare staff have access to critical life-saving data in real-time, anywhere in the world. As a result, patients have access to faster care, and the chances of complications to medications or fatal allergic reactions are drastically reduced.
There’s no question about whether the benefits of EMRs or EHRs outweigh the downsides, but healthcare IT is at an inflection point. As the amount of patient data grows and access to it becomes integral to modern medicine, healthcare providers’ current IT operations are struggling to keep pace with the growth.
Healthcare IT needs to approach its infrastructure design strategically; failing to do so, may mean the difference between life and death. As such, the ideal solution will need to allow data to be moved and managed seamlessly across multiple environments, improve responsiveness and access, and meet critical service levels quickly, securely, and reliably.
For example, a hybrid cloud infrastructure deployed on NetApp storage solutions allows healthcare providers to manage data seamlessly across IT environments – from the doctor’s workstation to the data center to the cloud. It will also enable providers to better respond to growing data requirements instantly without disruption to critical applications or physicians, by using the industry’s best data management solution, Data ONTAP.
At the end of the day, the patient’s care is what is important. Taking an intelligent approach to data infrastructure design reduces risk to patients by better enabling physicians and other caregivers to respond to data requests, collaborate on treatment plans, and complete documentation more quickly; anytime, anywhere.
As the healthcare industry and technology continues to evolve, the amount of patient data is only going to increase. It is IT’s responsibility to ensure that physicians and caregivers have the critical data when they need it; where they need it; by meeting the data requirements of today and the needs of tomorrow. As the Hippocratic Oath states, “I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.”
More than 3,000 healthcare organizations worldwide use Innovative clinical data and IT storage solutions from NetApp to share patient data across the continuum of care.