Cloud computing in occupational health services

Cloud computing is a term we hear a lot the moment, but do we really know what it is? Commonly it is software or an application that requires a physical download of the programme onto a computer or server within their building.

An effective occupational health department should see patient confidentiality as paramount if it wishes to avoid the damage that could happen should confidentiality be compromised.

Asking your occupational health department to entrust this sensitive data into the cloud can be daunting. Departments should be aware of where and how their data is stored. UK companies are feeling increased pressure to employ storage within the UK, despite lesser costs by hosting abroad.

The more popular smartphones and tablets are becoming, the more we have a need to access our data from anywhere. An occupational health practitioner will understand how important remote clinics are, and will appreciate how convenient it would be to securely access and edit the data live.

What are the benefits of cloud computing?

  • Costs. cloud offering are typically a ‘Pay-as-you-Go’; removing any initial heavy investment. There are no hardware, set up or maintenance costs and the users benefit from the highest quality and most secure data centre – without it being in-house.
  • Increased flexibility and agility. Organisations of all sizes are benefiting from an increase in efficiency. Cloud computing is fast, accessible and covered by intense disaster recovery procedures.
  • A rapid deploy time means businesses enjoy minimal start-up costs and can predict on-going operating expenses. This is a huge positive return on investment.
  • Improved workflows. Employees can safely access the cloud anywhere (with internet access). This has real-time data benefits and positively impacts collaboration, therefore team efficiency is increased.
  • Cloud computing removes the worry of data security from the company. Companies who may not be able to afford the complex backup and recovery procedures themselves can still enjoy the benefits.