Healthcare data boom could cause access overload
Big data is a growing problem in many industries, but perhaps nowhere more so than within the healthcare field. As more medical centers switch to electronic health records (EHRs) and digital medical document conversion, the amount of raw data piling up is beginning to overwhelm both doctors and hospital IT professionals. According to Signal Scape, data storage and sharing will develop major issues across this industry, diminishing the overall potential of this technology.
With an estimated 1.2 to 2.4 exabytes of patient data generated in the healthcare industry every year, hospitals need an efficient and affordable way to not only store, but easily access these files. Solutions like cloud storage offer quick fixes for smaller centers, but major hospitals could be quickly overload any cloud-based service that they attempt to use for any long period of time.
According to the news source, many healthcare centers are already dealing with petabytes, massive amounts of raw data that has to be easily accessed, navigated and stored. Meeting those needs is difficult without sacrificing valuable manpower and space for servers and databases to handle all of the records. However, a medical center could invest in offsite records store that is still easily accessible and reduces information overload.
Tape storage offers a significant improvement over other options for medical records management. By converting EHRs to tape, a healthcare center can easily store all of its records securely and create an open data flow for the massive amounts of information that it generates daily. As one of the oldest forms of storing large amounts of data, tape is reliable, cost effective and can fit the needs of any industry. Tape is also more rugged and versatile for offsite storage, allowing a hospital to focus its available space on more important matters, like patient care.
While EHRs certainly make it easier for doctors to meet the needs of patients, they do pose interesting IT concerns. However, these issues should not be the problem of the hospital, where it can detract from their primary goals. By outsourcing its health information management needs, a medical center can not only reduce its big data problems, but also leave vital records in the hands of professionals who better understand how to properly store and secure them in the digital age. This creates a safety-conscious atmosphere which can also help to improve the quality of healthcare overall.