Atlantic.Net Blog

Study: 24 Out of 25 Healthcare Firms Use Cloud

Sam Guiliano
by Atlantic.Net (86posts) under HIPAA Compliant Hosting

This article looks at Cloud Server adoption in the healthcare industry, via the following topics:

  • Introduction: Is cloud right for healthcare?
  • Methodology of worldwide tech study
  • What the study revealed
  • Cloud archiving
  • Healthcare information services
  • HIPAA business associate.

Introduction: Is cloud right for healthcare?

We all know that public cloud is associated with security concerns – as demonstrated by the hacks of the Sony cloud and iCloud this fall.

However, like companies in any other industry, healthcare organizations are intrigued by the incredible performance of cloud, which has given doctors, executives, and biomedical researchers affordable access to supercomputer power on demand.

It may seem at times that companies are being asked to risk the privacy of their patients’ medical records and the prospect of hefty HIPAA fines in exchange for the speed required to keep pace with modern business. That’s not the case, though. Healthcare now understands that third-platform virtualization doesn’t have to mean giving up data protections: private clouds have become more commonplace; and hybrid clouds allow organizations to develop software and conduct other non-sensitive tasks in a standard cloud setting, while privatizing environments containing PHI.

A recent study by Dell, the Global Technology Adoption Index, shows that 96% of healthcare companies (24 out of every 25) have either deployed a cloud system or are planning to do so. According to an analysis of the study by Jasmine Pennic in HIT Consultant, the “healthcare industry is not only rapidly transforming but is more successfully closing the gap in cloud adoption” versus other verticals.

Methodology of worldwide tech study

Dell designed and conducted this study – of which healthcare was just one piece – through partnership with research firm TNS, which surveyed 2038 respondents. The respondents were IT executives at midsize firms in both the public and private sectors across the planet. They were positioned throughout 11 global regions and represented a wide spectrum of industries. Results were then segmented into findings for each area of the world and field of business. Surveys were completed between July and September, and TNS gave the study a margin of error of +/- 2.2%.

What the study revealed

  • More than 4 out of 5 healthcare companies are using a private or hybrid system, evenly divided between the two (43% each, totaling 86%).
  • However, less people were “very confident” in the security of private cloud data, a total of 64%.
  • Interestingly enough, affordability was not considered the top cloud benefit by respondents. Instead, enhanced resource distribution was chosen as its top strength, beating out cost-effectiveness (39%) with almost half of the vote (46%).

As mentioned above, the Dell study looked broadly at the marketplace. Overall, 97% of midsize business IT executives said that their company would be utilizing cloud in some manner, one point higher than healthcare. In other words, whether or not public perception is that cloud is unsafe for sensitive data, healthcare firms are realizing how to make it work FOR them, as is true throughout the global business world.

Another key finding of the study revealed the technology priorities of healthcare companies:

  • Reducing costs
  • Making upgrades to the infrastructure
  • Bolstering the technologies and physical environments of data centers.

Dr. Cliff Bleustein, CMO of Dell’s healthcare division, said that the desire of healthcare companies to become more “patient-centered” is met by the cloud, since it releases technologists from mundane tasks so that they can provide their skills toward optimizing the patient experience and enriching it digitally.

Dr. Bleustein said that the cloud helps midsize healthcare providers “by providing the flexibility and scalability that enables [them] to be more nimble in the face of constant change.”

Cloud archiving

Centegra Health System was one organization that took part in the Dell study. Centegra CIO David Tomlinson, interviewed by Pennic, said that the basic reason his company was adopting the cloud was for storage and sharing of patient imaging files at a reduced rate, with better performance and better (gasp) security.

The Illinois-based healthcare provider did not jump from an on-premise image storage infrastructure to a cloud server overnight, but Tomlinson became convinced that it synergistically optimized efficiency and security, the two general top priorities of any technological solution. Tomlinson said that the provider was initially concerned about security and backups, but was able to adapt cloud archiving “once we worked through the security component and established redundancy to ensure high availability.”

Dr. Bleustein noted that archiving within the cloud allows image data to be “actionable,” as can be understood by processing workflow functions through analytic tools.

Healthcare information services

Texas hospital Comanche County Medical Center has found that a cloud environment is ideal for its healthcare information system (HIS). By using a private cloud solution, the hospital has been able to redirect its computer professionals to other tasks. Ismelda Garza, CIO for CCMC, commented that the company was careful to select a cloud provider with extensive experience in HIPAA compliance: “It’s critical that our data is safe and secure, because we’re dealing with confidential patient health records.”

HIPAA business associate

Atlantic.Net has been in business for 21 years, during which time two points of focus have emerged: cloud and HIPAA-Compliant Hosting solutions. In other words, the healthcare cloud is the nexus at the center of our expertise. One of the most popular plans we offer is our HIPAA Self-Encrypting Storage. Get a quote today!

Start Your HIPAA Project with a Free Fully Audited HIPAA Platform Trial!

HIPAA Compliant Compute & Storage, Encrypted VPN, Security Firewall, BAA, Offsite Backups, Disaster Recovery, & More!

Start My Free Trial

Looking for HIPAA Compliant Hosting?

We Can Help with a Free Assessment.

  • IT Architecture Design, Security, & Guidance.
  • Flexible Private, Public, & Hybrid Hosting.
  • 24x7x365 Security, Support, & Monitoring.
Contact Us Now!
Stevie Gold Award Med Tech Award

SOC Audit HIPAA Audit HITECH Audit

Case Studies

White Papers


HIPAA Partners

Recent Posts

Get started with 12 months of free cloud VPS hosting

Free Tier includes:
G2.1GB Cloud VPS Server Free to Use for One Year
50 GB of Block Storage Free to Use for One Year
50 GB of Snapshots Free to Use for One Year

New York, NY

100 Delawanna Ave, Suite 1

Clifton, NJ 07014

United States

San Francisco, CA

2820 Northwestern Pkwy,

Santa Clara, CA 95051

United States

Dallas, TX

2323 Bryan Street,

Dallas, Texas 75201

United States

Ashburn, VA

1807 Michael Faraday Ct,

Reston, VA 20190

United States

Orlando, FL

440 W Kennedy Blvd, Suite 3

Orlando, FL 32810

United States

Toronto, Canada

20 Pullman Ct, Scarborough,

Ontario M1X 1E4


London, UK

14 Liverpool Road, Slough,

Berkshire SL1 4QZ

United Kingdom