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Accelerate healthcare transformation with cloud solutions

Within three years, 95 percent of healthcare providers plan to migrate over half of their applications to the cloud. This finding, one of many revealed in a 2022 survey, shows that healthcare leaders are rapidly accelerating cloud adoption.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace recently held a webinar to examine how healthcare organizations are using cloud solutions to drive efficiency and improve care. I recently hosted a webinar titled Accelerate healthcare transformation with cloud solutions, which features research findings from Xtelligent Healthcare Media. I was joined in a conversation by leaders from Hyland, Prognos Health, and AdaptX to discuss how these findings resonate for their companies and customers.

The current and future state of cloud technology in healthcare

The webinar started with Dr. Kyle Murphy, Vice President of Editorial for Xtelligent Healthcare Media, who presented results from a recent healthcare survey conducted by Xtelligent Healthcare Media on behalf of AWS. The survey gathered responses from 156 healthcare leaders on the topic of cloud transformation.

In this blog post, I’ve provided a sampling of the survey findings Dr. Murphy overviewed in the webinar.

Finding: Healthcare providers experience many benefits from cloud adoption

Survey participants reported many benefits across their operations, including:

  • Simplification of the technology suite. 95 percent of hospitals reported that cloud-based technology has reduced reliance on legacy hardware and software.
  • Compliance with HIPAA and protection of sensitive financial, research, and medical data. Seventy-nine percent of academic medical centers have gained capabilities in securing protected health information and sensitive data after integrating cloud-based tools.
  • The ability to scale to fit organizational growth. Ninety-four percent of health systems reported that cloud-based technology has improved performance and availability.
  • Collaboration and productivity support for the workforce. Eighty-eight percent of health systems reported that cloud-based technology allowed for a decentralized workforce.
  • The building of advanced capabilities to support quality-based initiatives like population health, care quality tracking, and reduced readmissions. Ninety-five percent of healthcare providers with more than 10,000 employees reported that cloud-based technology has improved patient and provider experience.
  • Cost savings. One hundred percent of health systems reported improved financial planning and costs savings with cloud-based technology.

Finding: Cloud-based transformation is accelerating

According to Dr. Murphy, a major finding of his company’s survey is how eager healthcare providers are to move their infrastructures to the cloud. Ninety-five percent of healthcare organizations anticipate they will run more than half of their enterprise applications in the cloud within three years. This is a 35 percent increase over the number of organizations (60 percent) that do so today.

Finding: Healthcare providers are open to cloud marketplaces

Marketplaces such as AWS Marketplace can provide access to cloud-based solutions that may not be available as quickly through traditional channels. These solutions are preapproved by the cloud service provider, ensuring cloud environment compatibility and reducing time to implementation. Seventy-two percent of healthcare organizations surveyed reported they would use a cloud service provider with a marketplace.

A robust Q&A with healthcare industry leaders

After Dr. Murphy’s presentation, the other three webinar panelists shared how Xtelligent Healthcare Media’s findings aligned with their experiences. All three are leaders at companies that provide cloud-based healthcare solutions in AWS Marketplace.

The question and answer (Q&A) discussion lasted for more than an hour and touched on many aspects of cloud transformation in healthcare. Next, I’ve highlighted one of many unique insights each panelist brought to the conversation. To hear the full panelist discussion, view the Accelerate healthcare transformation with cloud solutions webinar.

“It turned 65 years of practice on its head.”

Q: According to the Xtelligent Healthcare Media survey results, hospitals of all sizes report that moving to cloud-based applications has improved patient care. Could you share an example of how your company’s solution has been used to improve patient care?

A: Dr. Dan Low, Chief Medical Officer, AdaptX

“I want to share a story about the Seattle Children’s Hospital. They announced that they have now performed 40,000 surgeries without narcotics. That was thought to be impossible a year ago. To put this into clinical context, before COVID-19, the biggest thing everyone was talking about was the opioid crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people were dying from opioids and still are. Seven percent of patients who have surgery become long-term opioid users. If you never expose a patient to opioids during surgery or in the postoperative period, that problem goes away. Using our solution, AdaptX, Seattle Children’s Hospital was able to say, ‘Let’s take one surgery, let’s stop giving narcotics, and give these other things.’ And then upon action review, ask, ‘Did it work? Oh, it did! Then let’s do that again—and again.’ Their learning cycle was measured literally in days. I have never seen anything like that. In medicine, people don’t make decisions in days or weeks. It’s years. And so within 18 months, they had eliminated opioids from all their ambulatory surgeries and approximately 60 percent of their inpatient surgeries. It has turned 65 years of practice on its head.”

Dr. Low went on to say, “There’s an economic cost as well as a human cost to that [change]. What happens if you take the most common surgery, an appendectomy, and you eliminate opioids? You are still giving great outcomes, the patients are still comfortable afterward, but they go home a day earlier. If you do 600 of these procedures a day, what are 600 bed days’ worth to you? It adds up to 2.5 million dollars. So, I think there is a triangle [benefit]—clinical effectiveness, operational efficiency, and how the whole hospital system works—and the data and technology pieces feed into all that [effective and efficient transformation].”

“This is a big difference in time to value, and the cloud definitely enables it.”

Q: Cost savings is a consistent theme in the report and in the conversation so far. What additional perspective can you share based upon what you have heard from your customers when it comes to cost savings?

A: Evan Closson, Chief Technology Officer, Prognos Health

“A lot of our customers are working with large data sets. These can be very complicated to transfer. Not that many years ago, you would end up sending terabytes of data through the mail. Nowadays, we have much faster pipes for sending data, especially when it is in the cloud. The data—although clearly separated and securely separated—is, in many ways, colocated in the cloud, which means you can transfer it much faster. So, whereas historically you might have had to send something through the mail, have an IT team load it up, and maybe three months later the data finally gets into the hands of the person who will use it, now it happens at the click of a button. This is a big difference in time to value, and the cloud definitely enables it. And that is a big reduction in cost.”

“It is impossible to imagine all the things you can do if you are tethered to old ways, old processes, and old thinking.”

Q: What are the biggest roadblocks to cloud adoption? What challenges do you see organizations run into as they look to transform how they do business and provide patient care?

A: Matt Beyer, Strategic Alliance Manager, Hyland

“In many ways, it still feels like early days. I think many people think, ‘Oh, the cloud, I get the cloud, AWS… yeah, yeah, I know who AWS is.’ But people are still wrapping their heads around that idea of the art of the possible. It is impossible to imagine all the things you can do if you are tethered to old ways, old processes, and old thinking. And while one person might have an aha moment, there is a long road ahead to bring everyone along. There is still a long tail [to get] there because you have to meet that patient, that caregiver, or that nurse where they are at.” 

What is AWS Marketplace?

AWS Marketplace is a curated digital catalog that makes it easy for customers to find, buy, deploy, and manage third-party software, services, and data. AWS Marketplace offers quick, easy, and secure deployment, flexible consumption and contract models, and streamlined procurement and billing operations. More than 330,000 organizations large and small use AWS Marketplace monthly to accelerate digital transformation and improve efficiencies across their enterprises.

Independent research from Forrester estimates it takes half the time to find, buy, and deploy a solution through AWS Marketplace compared to other sales channels.

Conclusion and next steps

Healthcare providers of all types are accelerating their adoption of cloud solutions. The benefits of cloud adoption in healthcare include flexibility, reliability, security, collaboration, cost savings, advanced capabilities, and scalability, to name a few. As illustrated by the experiences of these webinar panelists, these benefits lay the foundation for improved patient care and outcomes.

To learn more about the healthcare cloud solutions available in AWS Marketplace, visit Healthcare solutions and software in AWS Marketplace. To learn more about the topics and solutions discussed in this blog post, watch Accelerate healthcare transformation with cloud solutions.

About the author

michael-leonardMichael Leonard is responsible for developing healthcare partnerships for the AWS Partner Organization and growing the AWS Marketplace and AWS Data Exchange healthcare vertical business. His previous role was as a Principal Product Manager on the AWS Storage Gateway team. Over the past 20 years, Michael has progressed through a variety of roles in business development, product management, and engineering at AWS, Commvault, Iron Mountain, Merge Healthcare, and GE Healthcare. He built and managed teams to develop healthcare IT solutions focused on medical imaging, EHR systems, hybrid cloud storage services, and data protection solutions.