- UC San Diego Health has moved its EHR system to the cloud, part of a broader initiative to integrate patient data across all five of University of California-affiliated hospitals.
- UCSD Health is the first academic health system to transition its EHR to Epic’s cloud-based system, the health system announced this week. UC Irvine Health will put its EHRs on the cloud in November.
- The announcement comes as Politico reported that Epic CEO Judy Faulkner questioned former Vice President Joe Biden about the need for full patient access to EHR records during a Cancer Moonshot meeting.
With aging data center infrastructures and shrinking resources, more hospitals are turning to the cloud for their storage needs. Cloud-based data centers are cheaper than maintaining existing hardware and can add a level of security and enable easier disaster recovery.
One of the cloud’s main attractions is that it offers a pay-as-you-go model with organizations leasing computer time from a third party versus laying out capital expenditures for in-house data centers.
Most organizations that have made the leap to the cloud use a hybrid system. MedStar Health, for example, is in the process of implementing a three-year IT plan to shift data to either the public or a private cloud depending on security needs. Regulations and other information that need to be close at hand will remain no the ground.
“In 10 years, I think the data centers will be mostly in the cloud,” Paul Butler, director at Top Tier Consulting, told Healthcare Dive in March.
UCSD Health has already moved 10,000 workstations to the cloud and integrated more than 100 third-party applications that are compatible with Epics cloud infrastructure, the health system said.
Meanwhile, as barriers to EHR implementation fall away, vendors are looking to add more functionalities to their systems. New capabilities could include advanced analytics enhanced clinical decision support, natural language processing, telehealth, remote monitoring and use in clinical effectiveness campaigns and proactive care intervention.
Which means the structure and design of EHR systems could be in flux as modalities are built out and systems migrate to the cloud.