SAN FRANCISCO — Electronic health records are nearly ubiquitous. But while data interoperability among them remains challenging, hospitals should be thinking about whether or not they are ready for the next generation of health IT.

“The majority of hospital infrastructures were designed primarily to cater to the implementation of EMRs and cater to meaningful use,” HIMSS Analytics director of research Brendan FitzGerald said at the Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum on Tuesday. “The infrastructure that supports the EMR is probably not going to be infrastructure that takes us to the next level.”

Consider: the next level includes data generated through precision medicine and genomics, population health management, new ways of connecting with patients including but not limited to telemedicine, as well as analytics and big data work.

Healthcare providers have already begun tapping cloud services such as disaster recovery, data storage and backup and high-availability and reliability. While there will be a need for those on some level, FitzGerald said the big shift will be to infrastructure-as-a-service.

Hospitals will be moving to IaaS options from the likes of Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft and others to put their networks in the cloud, FitzGerald said.

“Infrastructure-as-a-service makes sense for organizations taking that next IT step,” FitzGerald said. “We expect to see a lot of infrastructure-as-a-service going forward.” 
 

Twitter: SullyHIT
Email the writer: tom.sullivan@himssmedia.com


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