Can HealthIT exist in a cloud computing environment?

Healthcare Clinical Information Systems can be hosted in the cloud as described in this HealthcareIT News article. Hospitals are not rushing to embrace public clouds rather for privacy and security reasons hospitals are hosting applications in a private cloud. A radiology application is highlighted, for example Carestream Vue – the benefit being collaborative view of radiology images amongst phyisicans who don’t have to use a computer at the hospital to use the RIS/PACS software. 

To translate the HealthIT News article terminology into cloud computing terms, I will quote some of the sentences and provide links and details

Financial benefits

“Cloud-based healthcare IT services reduce or indeed eliminate investment costs and replace them with running costs.”

Deployment benefits 

Enables the user to deploy whatever tool and whatever client wherever they want. And in addition, they don’t have to become IT gurus themselves to maintain the system

In cloud computing “investment costs” = CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) and “running costs” = OPEX (Operational Expenditure). For healthIT professionals who need an overview of cloud computing, please see this post

Software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) have been marketed as potentially attractive alternatives to buying large-scale information systems

Here is SaaS  and IaaS explained for those quite unfamiliar with the terms.

 

EMR vs EHR redux

Nate Bagley from Software Advice asked me to review his article and it jogged my memory… I wrote this a few years ago.  Only Nate offers some Google data to back up the idea that essentially an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is a patient’s medical record sourced from one provider; an Electronic Health Record (EHR) is sourced from several providers. This is in line with Nate’s quote from Don Fluckinger, “EHR seems to refer to a record that can be shared back and forth and amended among multiple providers.

If I get my healthcare from one provider, say Sutter Health, where one electronic record is shared between primary care, nurses and specialists, is that an EHR or EMR?

Until the NHIN or HIEs gain traction, Sutter’s health record cannot be shared with Stanford Hospital literally across the street!