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Google Solutions Ease Cloud-Native Adoption in Healthcare

Google Chromebooks and Workspace help providers increase security and reduce maintenance while supporting busy clinicians.

CDW Expert CDW Expert

Healthcare organizations face numerous challenges, such as high turnover and cybersecurity threats. IT teams at many of these organizations are finding that cloud-native solutions can alleviate several issues at once. For example, improving the clinician experience is a priority for almost every provider. One of the best ways to achieve this is to create a frictionless environment that allows clinicians to do their jobs optimally. In the process, cloud-native solutions can also help organizations enhance security, cut costs and reduce maintenance overhead.

In recent years, technology has radically transformed healthcare, but it has sometimes done so in ways that increase technical debt or workflow complexity. There’s always a give and take between user experience and concerns about cybersecurity and governance. Still, the goal is to maximize all of these elements simultaneously. One smart strategy for doing so is using cloud-native solutions such as Google Chromebooks and Google Workspace, which includes Gmail, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet and AppSheet (a no-code application tool).

For example, cloud-native environments establish a stronger, more nimble foundation to leverage new technologies such as artificial intelligence and to sustain the pace of innovation. They also address security and governance. When everything is tethered to the cloud, organizations have a complete line of sight on their data; for instance, eliminating issues that can arise with sending attachments or maintaining multiple file versions on network-attached storage. Also, adopting a modern, cloud-native framework built around a zero-trust security policy establishes a more secure environment and greater control and visibility into governance.

Repurpose End-of-Life Devices with ChromeOS Flex

For many organizations, cybersecurity and cost considerations are making Chromebooks attractive. They’re easy to maintain and deploy, they have low overhead, and their continuous updates eliminate the need for manual, time-consuming patching. Another benefit is not having to rely on complex virtual desktop environments. When organizations strive to do more with less, they need fewer moving parts and less complexity in vendor contracts.

For clinicians, Chromebooks are user friendly and mobile, delivering on-the-go simplicity that is critical for healthcare professionals. Chromebooks are also familiar to the incoming generation of care workers, many of whom used the devices throughout their K–12 education. Chromebooks are designed to work with any device without significant network dependency, helping teams communicate, collaborate and manage tasks quickly and easily. In addition, organizations can proactively push notifications to staff through their Chromebooks so they have all the information they need to start a shift.

ChromeOS Flex, which makes it possible to repurpose other devices as Chromebooks, helps providers obtain the Chromebook’s benefits without investing in entirely new hardware. Approximately 400 types of devices are supported, which means organizations can extend the utility of hardware that would otherwise be at its end of life. ChromeOS Flex is also helpful when manufacturers release a new OS that isn’t supported by a hardware device, a scenario that typically forces organizations to purchase new devices sooner than planned. Now, they can turn those devices into Chromebooks, extend their life by a few years and apply the savings to another area of need.

Ask the Right Questions to Build a Cloud-Native Environment

Considerations about the cloud are deeply connected to the changing ways people work today. They also raise important questions; for example: Are we truly cloud-focused regarding productivity, collaboration and other capabilities? When did we establish how we work, and when was the last time we evaluated it? What level of effort goes into patient care and the clinician experience? Can we accommodate the next generation of the workforce without overlooking long-term staffers? Are our workflows becoming more complex or less so?

As organizations engage in such self-reflection, a common denominator that often emerges is the need for a partner to help them move forward, understand what technology is available to solve problems and ultimately prepare for the next wave of innovation.

Story by Tony Majewski, who leads Google’s Workspace go-to-market strategy and solutions.