HIPAA compliance is clearly an important factor driving the introduction of information technology into medical spaces. However, practices should ensure that as conversions take place, they are acquiring all of the systems necessary for sustaining these new implementations.
One concern, raised in a recent piece in CIO Magazine, regards the amount of space needed for storing the immense quantities of digital data necessitated by newer systems. A specific development that has made this such a pressing issue is the rise of more sophisticated imaging software, which provides more detailed information at the cost of requiring more space.
A possible solution lies in cloud-based technologies, but the article notes that this might prove to be too costly for some facilities, as it did for the Mississippi-based St. Dominic Hospital. Instead it opted for an approach that allowed for the retention of their records, which number in the hundreds of millions.
Though an upward trend in the amount of information we see is to be expected, it could be come a problem as development moves at an increasingly rapid pace. The article predicts that the current amount of data will expand to five times as much in the next seven years.
As more progress is made within the data storage industry, it is possible that the best solutions will be made clearer to practices that are searching. One potential use for a well-versed physician consultant might be to determine the feasibility of a particular data plan and whether or not it falls within a medical provider's budget and resources.