In part one of this blog, MEDITECH Vice President Advanced Technologies Scott Radner and I discussed the company’s journey to the cloud and its dedication to making modern technology available to all of its customers. In part 2, Scott expands on MEDITECH’s decision to use the cloud for its application development environment and the company’s approach to seeing how its customers can best benefit from implementing cloud solutions.
One thing that’s been apparent through our interactions with MEDITECH is that your first priority is finding out what’s important to the customer, meeting them where they are, and helping them get to where they want to be. Was this a factor in MEDITECH’s decision to move to the cloud for application development and deployment?
Absolutely. It’s really a continuation of the journey we started with the Google suite of applications — you get addicted to this collaborative environment, and you realize that there are other products and other ways to access data which allow you to do your job so much easier.
Moving our development environments to the cloud took away all sorts of complexity about how you get to the data. We had people taking two and three hops into environments just to ensure the data was positioned properly to do their job.
Then you have the issues with having copies of code everywhere, which copy are you working on, how do you fold copies together — it all gets very messy, but the collaboration of a cloud environment takes all that away.
We’re all working on the same projects in the same place, we all have the similar ingress pathways to make that work. Security is much better with a better gatekeeper. It’s also much easier to complete environmental audits and determine who does what and when. The cloud makes it that much easier to fold in what we do locally.
It’s been a phenomenal environment to work in, with a very different set of tools, and we have training departments and mentor programs — everything we need to help anyone along their journey.
Why do you believe your customers will ultimately be better-served moving your products from on-premise installation to cloud-hosted solutions?
Because our customers are wonderful people who care for patients. MEDITECH has a reputation that most of our customers are community hospitals, and while I have no doubt that a large academic institution or an integrated network has the wherewithal to run a data center, it’s not letting the customer do what they went into business for — they went into business to run a care network or a hospital, treat patients, and have physicians on staff doing the good work of keeping our country healthy and treating people.
They’re not in the business of running an IT shop, which in just my time in the industry has become so much more complicated. The threats out there, the actors working against you are multiplying, the complexity of the environment, the requirements to be available all the time, the reliance on the software — all those things have become more and more complex.
One final question: You often speak about how important the user experience is for your customers, and I’d love to hear more about how you and your team put yourselves in the position of your users and make sure you are building solutions that are focused on taking care of their patients without having more clicks or using more screens.
The question I’ve been thinking about is, what is the ultimate win as we move to a cloud environment?
I think about our customers and what’s hard for them, and there’s a lot of technology that would potentially make things easier for them.
We have academic institutions using machine learning and artificial intelligence and all of these amazing systems with on-premise hardware — but more and more, they’re consuming that in the cloud environment. I want to offer the magic of that same environment to all of our customers. And I think MEDITECH is in a great position to do that.
When I travel to customers, it’s usually in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and I’ve never met people who are more dedicated to caring for patients, and they’re frustrated by the technology.
Our answer is to put together a solution that gives all the magic of the cloud to every patient and physician out there. The minute that I move to a cloud environment, I’m delivering the same tools to every one of my customers, and it’s affordable because I don’t have to buy it any more, I can rent it for the use case.
We’re going to keep going down that road and see where it leads and hopefully do great things for all of our customers — they’re all wonderful people who, at the end of the day, want to keep people healthy and improve the quality of life for their community.
Thanks to Scott and MEDITECH for their time and effort in organizing this conversation, and for their commitment to delivering the magic of the cloud to more healthcare organizations.
Learn more about how MEDITECH is harnessing the power of Google Cloud Platform.