The volume of information created and consumed each year is on a steep upward path. According to Statista, the volume of information generated in 2020 is 59 zettabytes and is projected to reach 149 zettabytes in 2024 alone. This rise concerns healthcare institutions, which need to manage all this information in line with a number of laws and regulations in order to stay compliant and avoid regulatory fines.
The current regulatory landscape in healthcare dictates that businesses need to preserve all their business records. Traditionally, these have included hardcopy files, but with the advent of the internet have also encompassed email, as the go-to communication channel.
However, over the last decade, the number of communication channels has exploded. Today, healthcare institutions need to capture and preserve not just email, but also any communication that takes place on social media platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), through instant messaging tools (WhatsApp, Slack, Skype, and so on), as well as voice and video calls and text messages.
These are all channels of communication that patients are increasingly using to communicate with their healthcare practitioner and schedule appointments, and as such need to be preserved intact. Otherwise, they are risking being fined anywhere between $10,000 and $50,000 for a single instance of HIPAA non-compliance.
As a result, an increasing number of healthcare institutions is looking to make a move to an archiving system. According to Gartner, by 2023, 45% of organisations in regulated industries, including healthcare, will implement some information archiving system in their organization to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
So, for IT managers looking to make this move, here are some considerations to bear in mind when choosing a cloud solution.
Benefits of Archiving in the Cloud
The biggest advantage of a cloud archiving solution is its infinite scalability. With a cloud system, you don’t need to worry about reaching the storage limit and thus being unable to preserve some of your data.
Cloud solutions can be tailored exactly to your data storage requirements, so you can scale your storage space up or down, at any moment. They allow you to carry your business tasks as usual, while ensuring all information is safely stored.
Another benefit of cloud solutions is that it allows companies to make significant savings on their IT infrastructure. Cloud archives let you store your data without you having to personally take care of hardware and software infrastructure and spend time and resources on maintaining and refreshing it.
With a cloud solution, your hospital need not invest in procuring high-end servers or robust security systems that would properly secure your business records. Instead, you can entrust your data to a vendor that has a readily available infrastructure for these purposes and the expertise in fixing any issues fast.
New Regulatory Trends Supported
Just as the number of formats that need to be supported for archiving business communication in line with regulations, so do many solutions have a hard time staying in the loop with ongoing regulatory changes. Companies that rely on in-house solutions may face issues in migrating legacy data safely and staying in line with the newest regulatory requirements, not to mention they need to pay for the maintenance of their legacy archive.
On the other hand, cloud solutions are more nimble in adapting to new changes and producing new eDiscovery or compliance features that can be deployed right away, in real-time. You won’t have to spend your own resources on building and updating internal systems but can have this carried out for you, while you focus on providing your core services to patients.
Having unlimited access to business information, including patient records, at all times is crucial. It allows companies to make informed decisions, stay compliant, and use opportunities to expand their business operations and delight their customers. And cloud solutions are an excellent system of support in this regard.
With cloud archives, legal teams, compliance managers, and senior management can all access and manage business records from any location, any device, and any operating system. This allows for a more efficient business operation, backed with data that can be accessed from anywhere.