Rural Hospitals and Cloud PACS: Unique Considerations
Cloud PACS Helps Rural Hospitals Improve Patient Services
It wasn’t always the case, but the healthcare community is embracing cloud technology. It’s being deployed at a rapid rate as providers realize the vast streams of data they can access via off-premise servers. Even for rural hospitals, cloud PACS are becoming a way to save money while improving patient services.
Part of the reason that cloud PACS are becoming more prevalent has to do with the ubiquity of electronic health records. Meaningful Use requirements also dictate a digital connection to medical records, which includes medical images. Furthermore, as hospitals large and small have increasingly larger file sizes and more images to manage, they require better solutions, and the cloud is bringing them.
As rural and community hospitals know, gaining access to best-in-class solutions hasn’t been an attainable goal, mostly because of budgetary constraints, but also because of personnel availability in rural areas. However, cloud computing is becoming more and more appealing to these providers because of the advantages they gain with cloud PACS.
The rural population is older than what urban hospitals will see, on average, which means the rural hospitals are under more pressure with more Medicare patients. This means they have lower margins, which does nothing to improve their financial position. Government payments are also lacking the rural medical facilities.
If the goal is to improve patient care, going with a cloud-based archiving solution makes sense. Rather than struggle with regulatory and compliance requirements, the cloud helps them meet standards without compromising anything. Because all the hardware needed is the responsibility of the vendor, the rural provider doesn’t have to spring for capital improvements. Furthermore, all the equipment and software is offsite, which means there is nothing for the local IT department to manage.
The right cloud PACS vendor will work with rural hospitals to cater to their needs. Backed by such tools as vendor neutral archiving (VNA), they can help providers break free from the constraints of proprietary solutions, which not only come with a great deal of cost, but also prevent them from accessing the data they need at a moment’s notice. Furthermore, many providers feel they are being held hostage by their vendor when it comes time to migrate data, and doing so comes at an exorbitant cost.
Even though rural providers are far from urban centers where populations are dense, they still provide services that the rural community counts on. When it comes to image management, working with a cloud PACS is an excellent solution for the needs of the rural people and their providers. At OffSite Image Management, Inc., our professionals all have experience working in rural communities, so we know the challenges. That’s why our cloud PACS and other solutions are such a good fit for rural providers. Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can improve your patient care while saving you money.