Cloud-based technology is transforming healthcare by placing clinical and practice management at the fingertips of medical professionals. It represents a big leap forward for an industry often apprehensive about the changes technology presents.
While these platforms can improve the experience of patients and enhance the performance of healthcare organisations, their true success is measured by the security of their infrastructure.
This is where MedicalDirector’s cloud-based platform Helix is making a significant difference.
As Australia’s leading medical software provider, MedicalDirector processes more than 70 million patient consultations each year. Around half of all surgeries across the country use its practice management and patient record software on their desktop computers. This year, the company launched Helix, which is built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud service.
“Microsoft spends over $1 billion on security globally each year,” said Dr Nic Woods, Health Industry Executive with Microsoft Australia. “We currently have two data centres in Australia and we go through an extensive program of accreditation reviews with the Australian Signals Directorate. By choosing Azure for the development of Helix, MedicalDirector shows it is taking cyber security seriously.”
Results of MedicalDirector’s 2016 practice survey ‘Technology opportunities and obstacles in medical practice’ revealed that 83 per cent of practices could see the benefits of using technology to access or send patient records electronically, yet 14 per cent of GPs haven’t considered switching to cloud-based solutions due to concern about data security.
Helix eliminates this concern. As the platform is built on Microsoft Azure, data is always backed up at Microsoft’s centres, which use bank-grade 256-bit encryption. Data is also safe during the migration process.
“Cloud technology is really just another way of describing computer services that happen in a remote data centre rather than on a local server,” said Woods. “The beauty of a platform like Helix is that data is extremely well protected through the Azure service. It’s critical to Microsoft’s business model to make our systems as secure as possible.”
Helix presents a new model for improving the delivery of healthcare and increasing the efficiency and flexibility of medical organisations. Time is one of the precious commodities of the modern world and Helix is designed to free up more of it for healthcare professionals. It handles all aspects of patient interactions - from booking to consultation to payment.
The technology also helps improve evidence-based decision-making by providing easy access to insightful population reporting and statistics from the most trusted sources for healthcare data.
“What MedicalDirector is doing is building a healthcare ecosystem that can be built upon,” Woods said. “Reporting tools can be built in an agile way so, for example, GPs could quickly access data about which children have had certain immunisations or they can access data from the broader healthcare system.”
Cloud-based technologies mean GPs do not need to be tethered to a desk to access patient data. Helix allows them to securely access and send information anywhere at anytime.
“Through Helix, MedicalDirector can now deliver their wonderful GP software without having to have it installed on a GP’s desktop,” said Woods. “There’s a lot less management overheads, there’s no need to worry about servers and backups and all updates are automated.
“GPs want to get on with delivering care to patients and they don’t want to worry about running IT systems.”
Find out how Helix can transform your clinic and practice management via the cloud.