In a new report titled “The State of the Cloud,” technology products vendor CDW found that the percentage of healthcare organizations implementing or maintaining cloud-based computing increased from 30% in 2011 to 35% in 2012. 

Long-term care organizations figure heavily into that number, which is no surprise to Jonathan Karl, CDW director of healthcare sales.

“Cloud computing can be a good choice for long-term care providers for many reasons, the most obvious benefit being cost reduction and significant savings,” he says. It “provides workflow optimization, remote management and remote support capabilities, which makes it appealing for long-term care because it enables centralized IT management.” 

As the long-term care market moves through mergers and acquisitions, “there will definitely be a need to support IT utilization across broad geographic areas,” Karl says. 

Cloud-based computing can be part of the solution, he explains, because it improves information access and reduces costs by aggregating necessary resources. 

“Broadly speaking, the cloud can also drive greater access to information for patients, which is especially important in long-term care and in healthcare as a whole,” Karl says.

For the report, CDW surveyed 1,200 IT professionals familiar with their organization’s plans for the cloud. More than half of organizations are migrating specific applications or infrastructure to the cloud and personal use of cloud services is significantly influencing organizational decisions, the firm found. 

Researchers found 73% of respondents believe that employees’ personal use of cloud applications and mobile devices has significantly influenced their organizations’ decisions to adopt cloud computing, with 68% stating that employee requests for cloud services have increased over the last two years.