Health systems experience efficiency gains with cloud EHR migrations

As hospitals and health systems begin moving their EHRs and workloads to the cloud, organizations are beginning to see improvements in efficiencies, up-front infrastructure costs and cybersecurity. 

Edison, N.J.-based Hackensack Meridian Health recently moved its EHR playground workload, a software environment that allows onboarding residents and nursing students to practice placing orders and writing patient notes without using patient data, from its on-premise environment to Google Cloud. 

The move, according to Kash Patel, executive vice president and chief digital information officer of the health system, has increased agility, improved reliability and increased security for Hackensack. 

"Data is at the core of how we are modernizing healthcare, and having all of our EHR workloads and other significant data sources on Google Cloud will help enable us to gain more insights from our data and introduce new services based on analytics and innovation," Mr. Patel said. 

The health system said it will continue to move its other EHR workloads to the cloud over the next three years. 

New York City-based Mount Sinai has also moved its Epic EHR system to the cloud but chose Microsoft as its preferred vendor. 

Currently, Mount Sinai has one of largest production instances of Epic running on Microsoft's cloud, and according to Kristin Myers, executive vice president, chief digital and information officer, and dean for digital and information technology at Mount Sinai, the move has been able to reduce upfront infrastructure costs and accelerate the health system's integration of AI. 

"We've managed to avoid significant investments required to maintain the facilities aspects of our data centers, as well as hardware refreshes of core infrastructure," Ms. Myers told Becker's. "This gives us the flexibility to scale up or down at a lower cost and redirect capital dollars to best serve the organization."

From an innovation perspective, Ms. Myers said the cloud migration has also helped the health system accelerate innovation and integration of AI models, algorithms and solutions. 

For example, Mount Sinai has also been able to support real-time data updates and analytics and utilize machine learning to create predictive models that are integrated in Epic to support clinical care. 

Currently, Mount Sinai is set to complete its application migration to Microsoft's cloud within three years.

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