When investigating options for your ECG management or health IT solution, many times two options are presented. Those options are a traditional on-premises model, with a physical server or data center, and a cloud model. Chad McQuarrie, Cloud System Engineer at Epiphany, weighs in on why it is beneficial to consider switching to the cloud.
1. SecuritySecurity is the hottest topic nowadays. Security is everything; businesses can be shut down from one security incident, which is particularly crippling in the healthcare environment. With cloud security, you get a lot more options under one roof. Here are four reasons why cloud security is superior:
1. Protection Against DDoS
Distributed denial of service attacks are on the rise. A top cloud computing security solution focuses on stopping vast amounts of traffic aimed at a hospital's cloud servers by monitoring and dispersing DDoS attacks to minimize risk. DDoS protection is automatically used when building out the network. You can increase the defense if it fits your hospital’s goal to do so.
2. Data Security
In this ever-increasing era of data breaches, a top cloud computing security solution has security protocols in place to protect sensitive information and transactions. It prevents a third party from eavesdropping or tampering with data being transmitted.
3. Regulatory Compliance
Top cloud computing security solutions help hospitals manage and maintain enhanced infrastructures for regulatory compliance and to protect personal and financial data.
A cloud computing solution provides you with the security you need whether you're turning up or down capacity. You have the flexibility to avoid server crashes during high traffic periods by scaling up your cloud solution. Then, when the increased traffic is over, you can scale back down to reduce costs.
2. Hardware Life and Updates
How many IT professionals have been hit with the "I have a device and it needs its firmware upgraded, but they no longer support it" or "The firewall just went down and we need to order another one?" That can be a troublesome spot for IT and anyone who supports the hardware for the hospital. Moving to the cloud takes all the equipment out of the hospital’s server farm and creates the virtual device. Because it's virtual, there's no worry that if it fails, you will need to rebuild another one AFTER you order it, taking weeks to get it back up like before. There is also no need to buy two devices to have a backup in case anything goes down.
Going virtual also gives you the freedom from updates and end-of-life situations. You can build an IPsec tunnel with Virtual Network Gateway and not worry that in two years it would not have security updates or be supported. Planning for the future becomes easier and more economical if you don't need to worry about device life or software.
One of the biggest things in IT besides security is backups. A cloud model offers quick and easy backups; days of tape drives are over. Anyone who has dealt with modern backup solutions will know you have to buy the solution and pay each year to keep using the product. Sometimes you even run into a flaw like not being able to stand up a server from on-premise to a cloud site like Azure unless you have paid for that upgrade. We won't even get into what happens if you need to restore at 2 am or get people trained on it and how IT can overlook this. So you can see where the best practice can be expensive and time-consuming. Microsoft Azure Cloud offers multiple storage options for offsite; there are no devices you need to buy, no extra software to buy, and you get a much more cost-effective solution offsite.
Geo-redundant storage (GRS) is the default and recommended replication option. GRS replicates your data to a secondary region (hundreds of miles away from the primary location of the source data). GRS costs more than LRS, but GRS provides a higher level of durability for your data, even if there's a regional outage. (Source: Microsoft Azure)
Zone-redundant storage (ZRS) replicates your data in availability zones, guaranteeing data residency and resiliency in the same region. ZRS has no downtime. So your critical workloads that require data residency, and must have no downtime, can be backed up in ZRS. (Source: Microsoft Azure)
If your hospital gets hit with ransomware, restoring the backups is as easy as clicking a button with a cloud model.
In summary, if you are considering a new ECG management system such as Cardio Server, we can discuss the details of our cloud option with you. If you already have a system and would like to learn more about switching from a traditional model to a cloud model, we can discuss our migration process with you. Epiphany has migrated hundreds of systems from MUSE, Pyramis, Tracemaster/Intellispace ECG, and PowerChart. Adopting a healthcare cloud model provides proactive system monitoring and enhanced cybersecurity. It supports mobile technology for secure access from anywhere. Conserve resources with reduced hospital IT expenses and reduced server and storage requirements. Discover how making the switch to a cloud model could greatly help your healthcare organization.