Photo by National Cancer Institute
Like most industries, healthcare has been transformed by data. The ability to gather, store, and analyse massive amounts of data can help healthcare organisations improve patient experience and provide more personalised services. The data can even be used to identify patterns and trends that could lead to breakthroughs in treatment and prevention.
However, tapping into the full benefits of data is easier said than done.
Healthcare data come from many different sources. From patient forms and bookings to test results and diagnostic imaging, every patient amasses a sizable electronic health record. This data mix is set to grow, as physicians increasingly embrace new technology such as wearable devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) to gather more patient data.
How can healthcare organisations store and manage this data? At Pure Storage, we work with healthcare organisations worldwide to help them realise the full value of their data, such as implementing lightning fast SSD storage and doing away with the need for disruptive hardware upgrades.
To tame the increasing volume and complexity of clinical, financial and operational data, we look at three key essential components of a modern data strategy: security, availability, and performance.
Security and privacy
Your personal medical data is among the most private and sensitive in the world, and securing that data is a critical first step. In 2020, a study by cybersecurity firm Ensign InfoSecurity revealed that the healthcare sector was worst-hit by the increase in cyber-attacks during COVID-19, fuelled by the volume of sensitive pandemic-related data hosted in the sector.
One of the most common threats is ransomware, which sees attackers lock up the victim’s data, then demand costly payments to release it. Even so, there is no guarantee that attackers will return the data at all. They might even go a step further and sell confidential medical data on the black market.
To combat these attacks, healthcare organisations need a data storage and backup solution with data snapshot capabilities that can help speed up the time to recovery for healthcare organisations. The snapshots cannot be deleted or tampered with, so IT teams can conduct recovery as quickly as possible.
Pure’s FlashBlade™ and SafeMode snapshots, for example, enable IT departments to create read-only, immutable, snapshots of backup data and associated metadata catalogs after a full backup. Data can be recovered directly from these snapshots, guarding healthcare organisations against attacks by ransomware and even rogue admins.
In the past, healthcare facilities relied on conventional methods like locked filing cabinets and air-gapped computers. However, paper-based data take up considerable physical space and it is nearly impossible to store today’s vast amount of digital data in analog form.
Even legacy digital storage solutions may stumble at meeting the huge storage demands of electronic records. As healthcare organisations make their move to the cloud, they may also have to grapple with the complexity of on-premise and cloud-based storage.
Storage needs will inevitably grow, so it is important to choose a solution that can scale alongside organisations without adding unnecessary cost, complexity, or disruption. For example, Pure’s modern Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) solutions manage on-demand storage across different environments and platforms with 99.9999% availability.
As a result, healthcare organisations can pay for storage they need today, and upgrade and scale seamlessly with tomorrow’s requirements.
Speed is a key factor when it comes to data performance. When healthcare workers need answers, they rarely have time to wait for a slow system to respond. Instant responses to their queries are critical to facilitate their most important duty – providing patient care.
To achieve better data performance as a healthcare provider, you might want to consolidate healthcare data workloads into a unified scale-out data hub, or integrate AWS cloud workloads with on-premises data solutions.
Pure has the all-flash storage solutions and products you need to make your healthcare data storage simple, seamless, and sustainable.
Ultimately, healthcare organisations that get their storage infrastructure right can position themselves to leverage data for better organisational performance and improved patient outcomes, through a modern data experience delivered for one and all.
Read our whitepaper to find out how you can future proof your organisation with a robust data protection strategy.
© 2021 Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media