As the head of software platforms for Firstsource’s Provider businesses, I am always looking for ways to drive better efficiencies and value for our clients. It is this agenda that led me to research by McKinsey(1) that says cloud capabilities can create a potential value of $100 billion to $170 billion for healthcare companies by 2030! That’s because cloud technology has the power to drive innovation, digitization, and help healthcare organizations achieve their strategic goals.
At Firstsource, we’re all about the ‘cloud first’ approach when it comes to our Healthcare Provider solution. This means that we’re prioritizing all things digital across the provider value chain, from Pre-services to Registration, Eligibility Screening and Enrollment, and even Self-Pay Early Out and Receivables Management.
While implementing the cloud for a healthcare business can be a game-changer, the million-dollar question is how to ensure successful implementation. It’s crucial to follow certain best practices, and I’d like to share five such best practices that we’ve implemented for our Healthcare Provider business, which have worked wonders:
1. Choose the right strategy: begin with an end-to-end assessment
Build a robust cloud strategy that considers all the different areas that will be impacted, like your business processes, your people, your governance, your security, and your day-to-day operations.
2. Embrace an As-a-Service business model
If you want to succeed in your cloud journey, it’s essential to use cloud-based business applications that can help your business grow. The As-a-Service model allows you to adjust your cloud resources according to your needs and scale up when necessary. Additionally, you need to plan on upgrading your cloud maturity over time by moving from IaaS to PaaS and eventually SaaS. This way, you’ll be able to keep up with the latest cloud technologies and optimize your business operations.
3. Follow a well-planned security and governance framework
A good governance framework can help you adopt cloud services securely and enforce policies to use the cloud effectively.
4. Conduct training and deploy automation
When you’re implementing cloud solutions, it’s crucial to ensure that your team is fully trained and prepared to handle any changes that may arise. One way to make things easier is to automate tasks like provisioning and management, which saves time and resources and frees up space for innovation. If you need help, consider partnering with experienced cloud providers to help you navigate the adoption process.
5. Optimize your platform with continuous monitoring
To keep your cloud-based services, applications, and infrastructure running smoothly for the long haul, it’s important to keep an eye on them and make improvements along the way. Using modern monitoring tools can save you money, boost performance, and keep things secure.
By following these best practices in a structured and systematic manner, we’ve been able to scale up our solutions to support over 100 US Providers and 150K customers on a monthly basis. For example, we’ve significantly reduced our provisioning effort from 2 weeks down to just a few hours, and our onboarding process now takes less than a week!
Our infrastructure resilience and HA/DR maturity have also improved significantly, which means we’re better equipped to handle any issues that might come up. Moreover, our CI/CD practices are really allowing us to move towards completely automated release and deployment, which is a huge win for everyone involved.
Adopting a ‘cloud-first’ approach has been extremely helpful for us, and it’s enabled us to improve the experience for patients and providers at every step of the way.
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