Migrating to the cloud can be daunting, particularly if you don’t fully grasp what ‘the cloud’ actually is. We’re not talking about the masses of watery vapour suspended in the sky, but rather software and services – such as data storage and software – that are accessed over the internet instead of being stored on your computer’s hard drive.
As a clinician, you may have concerns that virtually storing sensitive information, such as patient and staff details, sounds risky. Of course, all this information still exists somewhere – it’s simply stored on a server that is located off the premises. The applications you use, K2’s My Pregnancy Notes, for instance, connect to this server and relay the information back to you – much in the same way that Facebook does when you scroll through your newsfeed and open up a photo or consume other content online.
The reality is, storing information on the cloud is significantly safer than the days when this information would be recorded on paper and stored in a filing cabinet. When you use a cloud service like Microsoft Azure, the platform we at K2 use for our cloud-based applications, you benefit from the billions of dollars Microsoft pumps into guarding the data and business assets it has been tasked with protecting. Regular checks ensure that the cloud provider maintains its commitment to security and that its security controls are operating effectively. This kind of high-level security simply isn’t available to most Trusts as it would far exceed its budget.
Round the clock support
There are major advantages to choosing a cloud-based solution as opposed to hosting your database on an on-site server, explains K2’s Sales Manager Rob Whitney. Maternity care is a 24/7 service that requires round-the-clock support for its increasingly digital portfolio of systems. When the IT team clocks off at 5pm, this can leave clinicians stranded if there is an issue with the server out of hours. This dilemma can easily be solved by choosing one of K2’s fully managed support packages.
“We can offer a package where someone can check what’s going on, whatever the time of day or night,” says Rob. “This means issues can be responded to and resolved much faster as we don’t necessarily have to get the hospital’s IT team involved.”
When K2 hosts your database on the cloud, all the information is fully managed and we retain complete control over it. If there is an issue that needs handling, we are able to respond much faster as we don’t require support from the Trust’s IT team. This allows us to provide near instant technical support so that clinicians don’t wait longer than necessary for potentially life-or-death information.
Easier data sharing
Another increasingly-important advantage of storing information on the cloud is that it becomes much easier to share. Patient files, for example, can be accessed more easily from outside the hospital, such as when required by community midwives or consultants on call who need a remote overview of what is happening on a ward.
Furthermore, using a solution like K2’s My Pregnancy Notes – which is entirely cloud-based – mothers can access their notes wherever and whenever, giving them more control and insight into their own care.
“If you’ve got hospitals that are using the same system it makes it easier to transfer patients from one hospital to another. So if they have K2 at one hospital and mum changes her primary point of care to another hospital outside of that LMS, then it’s much easier to transfer than patient from one to the other,” explains Rob.
If you have any questions about the cloud-based services we currently offer, or simply want to hear more about how the cloud can support the work you do, don’t hesitate to get in touch.