The ubiquity of cloud technology has generated process improvements and efficiencies for nearly every aspect of practice management. For instance, teleradiology workflows become much more agile when powered by cloud solutions.

How cloud technology benefits teleradiology

Teleradiology may be nothing new, but the advent of cloud technology has introduced many efficiencies to this important industry niche. A few decades ago, organizations used analog telephone lines to transmit radiological images and reports. Today, practices leverage cloud networking technology to securely send and receive teleradiology assets.

What makes cloud networking so advantageous is the technology's ability to deliver more than standard imagery and reports. As part of an integrated platform, cloud-powered teleradiology tasks can take place within a cohesive application ecosystem. For instance, the cloud gives providers the power to instantly send, track and receive patient data within a HIPAA-compliant environment.

Another advantage of cloud services is their ease-of-use. On premises solutions require the attention of in-house personnel to maintain the physical servers, perform upgrades and manage applications and data. Cloud solutions such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) not only remove the need for bulky in-house servers, but also delegate IT tasks to a third-party vendor. This can create a number of efficiencies for lean physician practices. For instance, administrative staff can spend their time and resources helping patients rather than checking on server operations.

Cloud services make teleradiology workflows more efficient. Cloud services make teleradiology workflows more efficient.

Deciding between IaaS and SaaS

Keeping up with evolving technology often feels like an impossible task. It can seem as if a new solution appears on the horizon immediately after the industry has adopted the previous iteration of the technology. As a result, physicians' practices are forced to either increase their spend on new technology or risk getting left behind.

By transitioning to a cloud networking platform, practices can ensure that their technology is always up to date, functional, and efficient. Physicians didn't get into medicine to maintain computer servers and analyze data. Cloud technology puts the patient first by taking these responsibilities out of the physician's office, leaving clinicians with more resources to focus on providing improved patient outcomes.

Not all cloud solutions are the same, however. Practices that wish to improve their teleradiology programs with cloud technology need to decide between IaaS and SaaS. The main difference between these services is the level to which the practice hands over technology responsibilities to a third party.

Essentially, SaaS outsources all technology to a vendor, while IaaS only redistributes responsibility for scalable access and monitoring of resources. In other words, through the IaaS delivery model, the practice retains accountability for its applications, data, operating systems and any necessary middleware. Typically, SaaS eliminates the need for downloading and installing applications because these solutions live in the cloud where authorized individuals can access them from any device.

Deciding between these two delivery models comes down to a matter of responsibility. Practices that wish to maintain complete ownership of their software can leverage IaaS for the transmission of teleradiology assets. This solutions can work well for practices in a growth stage, as the IaaS model scales easily alongside the business. SaaS is also scalable, and comes with the benefit of eliminating the need for on-site tech support. Plus, web-based applications are always up to date and tend to be easy to adopt.

Want to learn more about how IaaS and SaaS can make your practice more efficient? Check out our latest case study today.