Many healthcare organizations migrating information systems to a cloud-hosted service struggle developing an appropriate strategy for the task, says Ed King, managing director of healthcare consulting services at disaster recovery and cloud-hosting vendor Sungard Availability Services. The Wayne, Pa.-based company split from software and processing services vendor SunGard in March and became an independent entity.

Moving to the cloud is not just a new way of doing computing-on-demand; it’s also a new way for personnel in an organization to use the technology. Almost always, not every system moves to the cloud, particularly legacy systems, King notes. There are a growing number of electronic health records systems and newer ancillary products being cloud-hosted by a remote vendor, while older secondary systems--back-office, financial, pharmacy and laboratory, for instance--may tie to cloud-based systems but remain in-house.  And, some other systems may stay in-house as they need a dedicated server because of how they are coded. The result for providers is that new processes and skill sets are needed to manage a hybrid environment, and the vendor can assist in putting together the plan for cloud computing.

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