"First there was the migration to the cloud, now it's a push for virtualization. Gone (or soon to be gone) are the days where every nurse, doctor, and healthcare professional is chained to a desktop PC upon which they rely for access to their software and information.
Joe Brown, president of Accelera Solutions, shares four reasons for going virtual.
1. Personalized healthcare applications. Having a strong EMR is an important part of running a practice, but the burdens of cost and maintenance may be too much for smaller providers to bear. Brown says that, in an effort to make smaller doctors more "sticky" to their larger presence, hospitals are virtualizing their EMRs and hosting them on a private server for smaller practices to have access to. "They give them virtual use of their EHR system," says Brown. "These doctor groups work very seamlessly with the hospital system. They can order all kinds of things straight from the hospital through a very secure private cloud environment. In the past it would have been at past very cumbersome."
2. Patients outreach. Brown recalls a commercial he saw recently where a patient "made an appointment with a doctor, checked a prescription, viewed an X-ray, and said, 'I did this all from my smartphone.'" Brown sees this level of connectivity as a crucial element to healthcare, if a provider wants to stay competitive. "That's the way consumers want to interact with their providers.
Consumerization is driving healthcare systems to adopt the cloud faster than they'd like to," he says. Brown says that physicians aren't immune from this demand either, noting that "as doctors get younger in our generational shift, we're going to see the physician desire to interact with mobile devices more and more." (...)
[CE: So this might allow smaller practices to survive, or even spur a 'new wave' of independent physicians who are now able to work in a 'REAL' network with larger providers.]