For healthcare organizations with patient safety, privacy, and care at their core, technology has historically been an afterthought. Paper-based records, siloed and proprietary clinical applications and systems, and department-based IT teams have all kept healthcare orgs in the technology “dark ages” where costs run high and inefficiency runs rampant.
Migrating to a Colocation Data Center
But the last ten years have seen tremendous growth in the pace of technological change in healthcare.1
Data and application silos are being integrated, and proprietary systems are being retired. Compliance with HIPAA and other regulations has taken center stage as security breaches continue to increase—in number, scope, and cost. And the growth of healthcare data, particularly from picture archiving communications systems (PACS) and other image-based applications, is growing exponentially higher.
In fact, IDC predicts that overall healthcare data will grow 48 percent per year, reaching 2.3 zettabytes by 2020. 2
Successfully integrating, securing, storing and managing all of the data—both for the purposes of organizational efficiency and cost savings, as well as for telemedicine, big data and data analytics and other data-intensive applications—is placing huge burdens on already overloaded healthcare IT departments.
This is all coming at a time when healthcare organizations must cut costs to maintain their competitive edge and ensure quality patient care. They don’t have the resources to fund multiple departmental IT teams, and they often lack the enterprise-level expertise needed to integrate and run a healthcare IT organization. After all, the heart of a hospital is not life-saving IT…it’s life-saving care.
Enter HIPAA-compliant data centers
That’s why many of today healthcare organizations are turning to colocation. A colocation data center provider that supports healthcare organization delivers a physical IT plant complete with server cabinets, power systems with UPS backup, extensive cooling operations and access to different types of bandwidth. It provides a smart and meaningful way to have an IT presence without the high cost, expert skills, and other hard-to-attain requirements needed by healthcare organizations.
By locating their own data center within a colocation facility, healthcare organizations can:
- Easily access massive data sets without delay. The ever decreasing cost of network bandwidth between hospitals/points of care and the data center allows large amounts of data to be accessed as though it were onsite, making colocation a viable option to hosting IT equipment on premise.
- Better manage and overcome any IT staff issues. Third-party data centers offer highly trained and professional IT service teams who are available 24/forever to handle any issues on your behalf. They know your healthcare business, and will work with you to ensure the highest level of reliability and continuity.
- Leave data center operations to trusted experts. With a third-party data center, power, cooling, connectivity, and security are all provided within a defined and predictable monthly subscription. That allows healthcare organizations to focus on life-critical healthcare operations, not IT operations. High quality patient care is ensured, while data is secured and managed within a highly available Tier III data center.
- Control and manage costs with predictable expenses. Instead of dealing with the ups and downs of power and cooling costs, spinning budgets out of control, you’ll pay a predictable monthly cost. Power and cooling costs are passed through, but because third-party data centers are highly efficient, these costs can be a fraction of what you currently pay.
- Increase your patient load and operating capacity without hesitation. A third-party colocation facility allows you to easily increase capacity as needed to keep up with fast growth or peak demand. Tend to more patients with the confidence of an always-operating data center.
But everyone has cages, locked boxes, and hot/cold aisles. IO leverages BASELAYER module technology that can take healthcare organizations to the next level. After all, if one of your clinicians comes into our modular data center, we want them to know that we’ve put as much thought and care into your data center as they’ve put into caring for and treating patients. And that’s mission critical.
1 Source: Health IT Quick Stats, HealthIT.gov, 12/31/2015.
2 Source: “Driving Data Growth in Healthcare: Challenges and Opportunities for IT,” IDC/EMC, 2014.