Ever since COVID-19 struck, the healthcare sector has been under tremendous pressure to operate in real-time and to provide easy access to data in multiple locations on demand. Many healthcare organisations are turning to SaaS solutions as a more affordable way of deploying cloud-based electronic health records. SaaS applications are being deployed across hospitals, clinics and healthcare organisations, which include apps for electronic medical records, Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS), telehealth, operations management, billing, supply chain management, payroll, financials and more. More and more organisations are onboarding CIOs and digital officers to support their digital transformation in health, and SaaS has proven to be a major driver of their digitisation initiatives, which is evidenced by increased SaaS adoption rates throughout the global healthcare sector.
Even though a lot of progress is being made on this front, healthcare facilities and community services in Australia and New Zealand are still in the early stages of their digital transformation. But the advantages are clear: embracing SaaS will expand the use of automation, analytics, interoperability and mobility tools, setting the stage for healthcare services to extend beyond hospital walls and enable health and community services to reach the people who need them most.
SaaS services also support the security, auditing, and operational efficiency requirements of telemedicine apps, patient engagement tools, admin tools and smart devices, making them more cost-effective and efficient than most on-premise data centres, especially when operation, maintenance and upgrading costs are factored into the equation. Being able to scale up or down in sync with operational needs enables rapid growth for the organisation and allows them to respond much more quickly to an increasingly dynamic healthcare landscape.
As with any transition though, there are still some challenges involved. Security, regulatory compliance, and cost are cited as the biggest SaaS concerns among health and community services providers. Implementing SaaS solutions in a legacy environment can be particularly challenging, and many organisations worry about runaway costs based on the complexity of implementation and navigating wildly different pricing models for various SaaS services. Even so, for many healthcare organisations, the benefits are well worth it.