Can cloud be the future of the NHS?

nhs_logoThe NHS in Britain is under pressure to cuts costs in many areas.

While some experts argue as to whether this is feasible without hurting patients, others are looking at technology.  One NHS Trust to do this is Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Trust, which has moved its IT resources over to a cloud-based system.

The reason it did this was the result of problems associated with its existing data centre including a fire in one of the buildings.  The fire caused a lot of damage that meant access to records stored at the data centre was down for six hours.

A spokesperson for the Trust, Garry Harris, Head of IT at WWL NHS Trust told computerweekly.com: “Our base had reached maximum capacity in terms of power and cooling.”

He added: “The service continued to run but we were prevented from having access to our systems which was a business continuity concern.”

Unfortunately, the data centre not only held patient records but also Trust business information.

As a consequence of this and other issues, a web-based solution was sought.  This has two major benefits, namely storage and security.

Even if an organisation continues to use its own IT system having an online backup is sensible.  The information is also safe as it can only be accessed by authorised personnel.

In the case of WWL NHS Trust, management decided to use a shared service as it enables a closer working relationship with other NHS Trusts to develop; something that many within the mammoth organisation believes is now vital.

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