Healthcare Industry Faces Big Data, Rising Costs

The healthcare industry is facing an alarming IT growth rate, instigated by recent health care legislation and reform. Two recent reform measures, affecting the healthcare industry, threaten to swamp the current data storage methods if changes are not made.

First, the healthcare industry faces a new medical coding system, which adds over 68,000 new codes to the current system. In his article for Computerworld, Lucas Mearian states that the change threatens not only standard medical reporting and billing procedures, but could overload the current data storage systems and exponentially increase the data storage requirements for electronic health records (EHRs).

Second, the healthcare industry will need to implement strategies to manage the more than 28 million new Americans who will be expected to get healthcare coverage by the year 2020. The immense amount of new information has the potential to flood the industry, filling healthcare databases and forcing IT departments to make significant changes to meet demand.

So, how does the healthcare industry handle the flood of new data while continuing to cut costs?

1. Leverage Used Storage Hardware Solutions

Used storage hardware solutions can be the key to completing the project under time and budget constraints. IT storage managers can experience 60-70% savings, allowing them to purchase 150-200% more storage with their existing IT budget.

Used storage arrays and capacity upgrades from EMC, IBM, and NetApp systems are all readily available from reliable vendors. These vendors can find warranty-backed equipment, which is guaranteed to be compatible with their existing storage infrastructure.

2. Employ Server Consolidation

IT directors in the healthcare industry can consolidate their data storage system and use alternative forms of maintenance support to reduce the cost of exponential data growth. A consolidation strategy for multiple servers can help an enterprise see benefits across the board, including facilities costs like air conditioning and power usage.

Server consolidation may also help reduce the need for additional IT staff and data center space, because consolidated servers take up less space and require fewer staff to manage it.

3. Choose Third Party Maintenance

To further reduce the cost of increased data, healthcare providers can choose an alternative method of server maintenance. Third party maintenance can create a flexible contract that is tailored to the specific needs of the enterprise, providing a high level of service while reducing the cost of maintenance by 40-80%.

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