What is Object Storage?
Object storage is an alternative way of storing data and records; instead of creating files and folders, object-based storage creates complete units of data that can be swiftly accessed and used when needed. Objects can be composed of a variety of data; stored information can range from imaging to EHR and other important details.
Since objects allow for the storage of metadata and other details, it is incredibly useful for both individual processes and broad analysis. Cloud object storage prevents the time loss that often occurs when a traditional file system is too difficult to search or external media has been mislabeled or lost. Under legacy systems it is not unusual for a facility to lose track of old clinical data tapes or records; once archived, these pieces could take time to recover. Object storage makes recovery easy and ensures your data can be accessed when you need it most.
Object Storage Helps Healthcare Facilities Manage Data
Cloud Object Storage is a particularly good match for healthcare data, since it is capable of storing and delivering large amounts of data all at once. Providers face less frustration, since they do not have to wait for a file to be found or for data to be downloaded using a traditional system. Patient satisfaction improves too as decreased wait time and attention to detail comes from successful data access and reference.
- Object Storage Enhances Security
Object storage helps keep data secure; for healthcare facilities required to comply with privacy regulation, this added level of security is a must. Object Storage creates an easier way to separate administrative files from EHR and Medical Images, allowing confidential records to remain confidential.
- Object Storage Ensures a High Level of Patient Care
When providers have all of the data, they need to fully address a patient’s problems, outcomes are improved. More and more data is being collected every year, and unless it is stored in an easily accessible way, patient care could be interrupted or compromised.
- Disaster Recovery is Simplified with Object Storage
If the worst happens, your team could end up scrambling for even basic details and records. Since object storage allows you to incorporate even large imaging files, all of the patient details needed are still available in the cloud. Your downtime can be dramatically limited, and you can keep the impact on patient care to a minimum.
- Enhanced Availability of Even Large Files
Your providers often need older clinical data to make important decisions about the health and care of your patients as well as provide information for legal issues. The problem is that older forms of storage make retrieval time consuming and sometimes impossible. Large imaging files and related items can swiftly overwhelm a traditional system, resulting in the saving of summaries or reports, but not the actual images and details themselves. Availability of all possible data resources ensures the best imaginable outcomes for patients and object storage allows you to make choices based on data type and availability needs.
- Object Storage and the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is something most of us already use every day. When you control items in your home or office with a smart phone or receive information through a device, you are using the IoT. The IoT connects a variety of items to the Internet; it is a broad process and most of us use it regularly. In the healthcare industry, devices that connect to a network via the Internet can help regulate medication, report details about a patient’s health or status and even alert patients to potential issues and trigger an office visit.
5 Benefits of Combining Object Storage and IoT
Combining these two innovations allows providers to gather and use data and to improve patient care in the following ways:
- Easy, Ongoing Data Collection
For patients with chronic conditions that require regular care, IoT equipped devices make it easy to provide the care team with up to date, accurate data. When you ask a patient about their blood sugar levels, you may not get an accurate picture. When you can access two years’ worth of records via object storage technology, you can see how they are really doing at a glance. The ability to serve up so much data at once in a readable, usable way can provide much needed, objective insight into a patient’s everyday stats and habits.
- Enhanced Facility Monitoring
Your care team can see the status of multiple patients with the click of a button, thanks to IoT equipped medical devices and object storage. Gathering data in real time allows for the right level of detail for providers. While data can be recalled at any time, it can also be saved to individual records using object storage to keep patient files private and fully up to date.
- Secure Data Transmission
Any time you send or receive data, you take a risk. The IoT allows for the easy transmission of data and helps keep the most important patient records and details secure. By incorporating cloud object storage, you enhance the security of the process and make it more difficult for outsiders to access your most important data.
- Rendering IoT Safe
While using the Internet of Things can help enhance your ability to care for patients, devices equipped for IoT can expose you to risk. Using cloud object storage alongside the IoT gives you the best of both worlds– the convenience of integrating medical devices and information into your care plans and extra security to access that information if the case of an outage via cloud based object storage.
- Emergency Recovery Made Easy
If the worst happens and your facility is breached, cloud-based object storage makes it easy to spin up your clinical data — even the old files — and work from a pristine, undamaged copy. A ransomware attack or a breach could come at any time; being able to broadcast complete information using patient engagement solutions and object storage ensures that your medical devices and staff can be instantly deployed for patient care.
Cloud object storage is an ideal partner to the IoT medical devices you already own and will make it easier for your providers to care for patients and ensure your facility remains secure.
Author: Bill Flatley, Field CTO for Healthcare
Bill is responsible for technical strategies and recommendations for Comport’s Healthcare clients. His extensive experience includes four healthcare systems in leadership roles supporting Clinical Applications, Digital Health, and Office of the CIO as the primary liaison between IT and the business.