Buying groceries? Your purchase is stored digitally. Saving your 4c on petrol? Stored digitally. Watching your favourite TV show on demand? Yep. Stored digitally.
But it seems that Electronic Medical Record systems (EMRs) to store patient records digitally are not currently commonplace in Australia (PWC, 2023).
If you’re reading this and your business is one of them, we’re so pleased to meet you and we love your curiosity about this space!
Earlier this year, Deloitte released a super lengthy report into the benefits of cloud-enabled healthcare in Australia and New Zealand.
You can read it in full here but we’ve also pulled out all the best bits for you, because we’re all about saving you hassle here at Xenex Systems.
The report lists a number of case studies that really got us excited, and sectioned the benefits into three categories: patient, organisation and industry outcomes.
1. Improved patient outcomes:
- Early Diagnosis and risk stratification – cloud can let machine learning algorithms predict population health outcomes with more accuracy than humans. In one study, 7.6% more cardiovascular disease (CVD) events were predicted and 1.6% fewer false alarms were flagged. With CVD being the leading cause of early death globally, these percentages could save massive numbers of individuals.
- Ease of health management – through the use of apps and digitised systems, organisations can become more customer centric. Think digital bookings and consults, automated options and simpler processes for staff and patients alike.
- User engagement and patient feedback – Australia’s Nib health fund implemented ‘Nibby’ a clever little chatbot that handled over 50,000 member interactions with an 85% success rate, saving 1,500 hours of handling time.
- Access to information – cloud based systems like those rolled out during COVID-19 testing in Australia scaled 10-day waiting periods for results down to just 2 hours. This meant patients could be spared a lengthy and anxious isolation period, particularly frustrating if they found they were negative!
2. Health organisation benefits:
- Cost savings – with on-premise data storage, it’s best practice to maintain equipment with a 20-50% over-peak requirement. You pay for this even if you don’t use it. With the cloud, you can instantly scale to your needs and only pay for what is used. The report notes that if all hospitals in Australia migrated to the cloud, there would be a $917 million saving to operating costs!
- Flexibility to scale – demand on health system resources can change in the blink of an eye (or the crash of a bus, or the peak of a pandemic) and it’s essential to be nimble enough to cope with these changes, quickly. A perfect time to be floating on cloud nine.
- Productivity – efficiency can equal effectiveness, exactly what you need in healthcare. Cloud technology can streamline processes and remove human error, to improve outcomes for patients AND clinicians.
- Security – we’ve said it before, we’ll say it again… Cloud is the safest way to store your EMRs! Plus, you can integrate systems to avoid data breaches when muddling your way between different tools in your business.
- Knowledge sharing – opening up access to information across a business, industry or country can add significant value when it’s done well.
3. Benefits to the broader health system:
- Monitoring and responding to population health developments – by bringing data together governments can better understand what’s going on in their population as well as respond to large-scale events. Sharing COVID-19 negative results via the cloud saved NSW Health over 1 million hours for frontline healthcare workers. Wait.. What? That’s 480 full time equivalent roles for a whole year, or 0.5% of the total NSW health workforce! Just to write text messages!
- Connected patient care – flexibility enabled by the cloud reduces the impact of geography on a patient’s access to healthcare. Telehealth has hugely assisted to bridge the gap in healthcare available to people outside our main cities.
- Medical research and drug discovery – also by using machine learning and vast amounts of data, cloud computing can rapidly analyse and shave months or years off the discovery of useful drug compounds. This means getting the right treatment into the hands of patients much, much sooner.
- Reduced carbon footprint – in the race to net zero in many businesses and governments, hospitals are a key focus. They emit 2.5 times more greenhouse gases than an average commercial building and power use can be reduced by 80% when customers use cloud rather than on-premise infrastructure.
Feeling inspired to be part of the healthcare industry’s shift to cloud? Fancy reaping these benefits too? The first step is getting an audit of your systems so you can have a clear strategy for implementation.
Xenex Systems offers these audits for free, get in touch with us today and we’ll show you how to use technology for smarter business.