According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the healthcare analytics market is expected to reach $18.7 Billion by 2020. Part of this growth can be attributed to healthcare mandates from the U.S. government like the 2009 HITECH Act, which was designed to persuade healthcare providers to utilize certified electronic health records (EHRs) to improve patient care.

As of January 2016, 59 percent of providers report using an EHR. It’s no surprise, then, that over 40 percent of healthcare executives report that the data volume of their organizations has grown more than 50 percent in a single year. Evolving millions of records into an electronic format is complex, but keeping all that data safe is even more challenging. Plus, the emergence and adoption of new healthcare technologies and applications are spurring network traffic growth, resulting in data capacity and connectivity challenges and stressed networks and infrastructures.

The Need for Speed…and Scalability

These applications and technologies have to operate at peak performance and require sufficient network capacity, scalability and speed. However, data centers are very expensive to build and manage, and hiring and retaining the proper expertise among IT is growing more challenging, especially since data center management is not a core competency at most healthcare facilities

Faced with these constraints, many healthcare providers are turning to cost-effective options such as colocation and hybrid IT instead of spending valuable resources building and maintaining their own data centers. Data center colocation enables providers to obtain data center space, power, cooling, security, connectivity, scalability and disaster recovery, all at a significantly lower cost than an on-premise data center. Hybrid IT infrastructure solutions give them the necessary agility by mixing colocated, managed and cloud services along with the ability to easily switch among service types as their business needs evolve.

A Real-World Case in Point

When a Canada-based provider of EHR and practice management solutions for healthcare organizations wanted to find a way to expand one of its solution’s feature set into the United States to make it compatible with a broader range of end user devices, it selected CenturyLink for a hybrid solution consisting of cloud hosting and colocation services. The move allowed the company to create an instance of its solution in one site and replicate it across the globe while complying with regulations for the storage of personal health information (PHI).

The healthcare IT provider migrated its internal IT systems to CenturyLink’s colocation service instead of maintaining its servers on-site, a move that increased the reliability of their core systems while freeing IT staff for more strategic duties. They now enjoy the ability to operate cost-effectively in multiple regions across the world while maintaining compliance with data sovereignty, a high level of reliability, system availability and disaster preparedness. Most importantly, they have a new, scalable application and infrastructure to support millions of secure healthcare and have lower operating costs through a reduction in the total amount of resources needed to run their entire infrastructure.

Behind-the-Scenes Benefits

In addition to giving healthcare providers the capability to increase bandwidth, connectivity and security at a lower cost, utilizing colocation hybrid IT achieves the following benefits for businesses in any industry:

  • Cost-effectively addresses big data initiatives
  • Delivers efficiencies in energy usage
  • Supports improvements in management and operations
  • Lets businesses rely on the expertise and experience of a knowledgeable data center team
  • Provides uninterrupted power and cooling and comprehensive redundancy as part of disaster recovery strategy to ensure business continuity
  • Helps keep patient data secure and prevents data breaches by offering enhanced network and physical security.
  • Efficiently addresses the rapid growth in medical record processing and storage needs.
  • Moves large amounts of data with greater speed and resiliency
  • Enables 24/7 access to data and workload support
  • Provides a dedicated environment for IT hardware in a secure and globally connected facility
  • Allows businesses to leverage innovations in virtualization and high density computing

Choosing the right provider for your colocation and hybrid IT needs is essential. Learn more in this white paper Six Important Considerations When Choosing a Colocation Provider or schedule a tour today.

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