Do Cloud Solutions Put Healthcare Systems and Patients at Risk?

In the article, Doctors improve usefulness of iOS devices in the ER with Box.net, the author discusses how a hospital uses a cloud solution to host medical reference files for physicians to use at a moments notice.  In the ER situation referenced in the article the physician pulled out his iPhone to look up medical information that was needed in a very timely manner. From a technical perspective, the questions that should be being discussed:

  • So what would have happened if the Box.net solution was down?
  • Would lack of access impacted patient care?
  • Does the hospital have backup for medical reference?

As healthcare systems move to cloud solutions they need to understand that they lose control of that particular environment.  Some IT grous may say, “Oh we have penalties in place with the vendor for downtime”.  Does this really matter if it impacts patient care?  Do the penalties help with “customer service” perception with clinicians when the service goes down?  

As healthcare systems move to the cloud they need to answer the “non-technical” questions and be able to understand the risk they are willing to accept.