Healthcare Data Security: Your Transition to the Cloud is Long Overdue
Health plans, as a whole, are risk-avoidant and conservative when it comes to data. As they should be. After all, they are stewards of the most sensitive and personal information we have – our personal health information.
And yet, the healthcare ecosystem is increasingly complex; consumers clamor for the same level of personalized, digital experiences they receive almost everywhere else; and the telemedicine and remote patient monitoring boom of 2020 is unlikely to abate anytime soon.
Thankfully, cloud solutions are more secure, scalable and affordable than ever and innovative health plans are taking full advantage. They are meeting complex needs and consumer demands head on through cloud-based, digital strategies that do not compromise security and, in fact, offer additional strategic advantages.
For some health plans in markets with limited competition and a highly satisfied consumer base, there may be little incentive to switch from onsite to cloud, especially if coupled with internal data experts and a budget that allows for constant modernization of equipment, skill and facilities.
The majority of health plans, however, do not enjoy such a position. Over time, technology and facilities degrade and become outdated. On the other hand, cloud data centers typically offer multiple, redundant locations with heightened physical security such as strengthened walls and advanced environmental systems. Additional security is provided via strict industry ISO standards and regular security audits.
Further, unlike internal IT teams who often juggle a variety of responsibilities,
cloud solutions are monitored by data professionals whose only job is to protect your data. This shift in responsibilities frees in-house technical resources for other internal projects and strategic innovation.
Scalable. Flexible. Affordable.
Cloud solutions are elastic and offer healthcare organizations the flexibility to increase or decrease data storage to match usage. During peak periods such as plan enrollment, clouds effortlessly scale to meet demand without wasting time and money on additional hardware or software. Similarly, cloud elasticity means health plans pay less when demand and usage diminish. Because this elasticity is tracked in near real-time, organizations realize significant operational savings.
Collaborative. Innovative. Efficient.
Cloud platforms enable health plans, care teams and their many hospital and provider partners to collaborate efficiently around value-based care, new care models and improved member outcomes. Cloud-based (or hybrid cloud-based) telemedicine providers are more agile than competitors and were better able to meet last year’s accelerated demand. The industry witnessed a significant shift by telemedicine providers to cloud/hybrid cloud platforms to remain competitive.
Shared data within a cloud also means stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem can have on-demand access to the same single source of truth for a variety of purposes including telemedicine, remote work, remote patient monitoring, new/digital care models and performance analytics.
Digital Member Experience
More than ever, consumers want to interact with organizations whenever and wherever they want. They want to find available providers, check lab results, confirm benefits/deductibles and interact with health coaches with no more effort than picking up a phone and launching an app. Health plans can no longer afford to remain behind other industries in terms of offering digital experiences to their consumers.
According to the 2020 U.S. Commercial Health Plan Study by J.D. Power, more than half (60 percent) of commercial health plan members say they were not contacted by their health plan with guidance or information related to COVID-19, and nearly half (48 percent) say their health plan has not shown concern for their health since the pandemic began.
“Health plans are widely perceived as lacking a customer-centric mindset and not putting the best interests of their members first,” said James Beem, managing director, global healthcare intelligence at J.D. Power. “The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified these shortcomings, but they are not new. If traditional health insurance plans want to resist the threat from disruptors, they need to demonstrate partnership with members—and on behalf of employers—to improve member health, reduce costs and help members navigate the healthcare system.”
The report confirms the direct link between customer satisfaction and customer engagement. Plans who proactively engage with members experience an overall satisfaction score significantly higher than peers who do not.
The key to efficient engagement of members by health plans is cloud computing. Cloud platforms enable health plans to digitize and simplify the healthcare experience for their members. It facilitates quick and easy communication which improves cooperation between providers, better treatment for members and improved member satisfaction.
Cloud computing is quickly becoming a ‘must-have’ for health plans to become or remain competitive in today’s rapidly evolving landscape. The risk of being left behind may be the greatest risk of all.
Contact us to learn how Gaine’s cloud-based Ecosystem Master Data Management platform, Coperor E-MDM can help your organization.
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