Outspoken CIO Says Cloud Computing Best Option for Digital Health Care

Outspoken CIO Says Cloud Computing Best Option for Digital Health Care

Worries about security, interoperability and patient rights are complicating the health care industry’s transition to digital health care applications and electronic medical records.

HALF MOON BAY, Calif.—The need to move to modern computer technology including cloud computing to enable the transition to digital health care and medical records was a hot topic during a session here at the Constellation Research Connection Enterprise conference.

While many new technologies offer ways for hospitals and other health care institutions to improve payment systems and streamline patients’ access to their medical records, panelists said the transition is hampered by a reluctance to invest in new systems.

“The challenge is how do we catch up to and leapfrog to where consumers are today, while still trying to fix, for example, payment systems” running on aging mainframe systems, said Anne Kao, chief digital officer and CIO at MedAmerica.

But as with enterprises in general, some health care providers are moving more aggressively to new technology. Shawn Wiora, CIO at Creative Solutions in Healthcare, an operator of hospice and elder care facilities based in Fort Worth, Texas, says his company has moved entirely to cloud-based platforms and challenged other health care providers to follow suit.

Holding up a thick bound volume of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations, Wiora declared, “There is nothing in HIPAA that prevents you from going to the cloud, but a lot of companies say they can’t.”

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