CareCloud: Modernizing the Patient Experience in a Multi-Cloud Environment
CareCloud provides medical practitioners and their patients the ability to use healthcare solutions that resemble the technologies they use every day in other facets of their life, be it online banking, shopping or booking travel. With CareCloud Breeze, providers have a comprehensive platform that allows patients quick and easy check-in via any mobile device, the ability to approve and update their records and personal information, and allows support staff and nurses to automate scheduling, form distribution and completion, and payment. Patients and caregivers have access to view medical records, test results and consolidated clinical intake forms across multiple practices which are connected through Breeze through a single login. Payers and providers can enjoy interoperability to shared data through the platform with HL7 standardization in a secure, compliant, mobile, cloud platform. Because Breeze may be integrated with CareCloud’s EHR and PM solutions, this patient-driven information set is accessible in real time for use in clinical decision-making during the patient encounter, and for office administration tasks.
The Problem: The Need for Agility
When CareCloud first brought their solutions to market, they were using a co-located data center, managing their own servers, building their own compliance solutions around those servers, and spending a majority of their time making sure everything was safe, while experiencing minimized downtime. On top this, there was a constant need to monitor their environment for compliance given the sensitive nature of their data and the PII/PHI they were transmitting and storing. This took time and attention away from time developing and enhancing the features they wanted their innovative app to provide. “We were spending so much time racking and tracking at the data center - with a majority of time on the build out and maintenance at the data center,” said Bill McIver, VP Technical Operations, CareCloud. “Progress and growth were very slow going, and we had to predict the future to understand how many engineers, what certifications and what hardware we would need. The engineers felt like they had to take care of everything. We knew we needed to add headcount or find a new solution,” said McIver.
The Challenge: Securely Scaling and Innovating within Compliance Frameworks
CareCloud reached out to the AWS team and explored what was covered under the Business Associate’s Agreement, but at the time (2016) many services were not covered under BAA as they are today. CareCloud created a hybrid solution of AWS services and also built add-on compliant services. The strain on their team was tremendous as they sought to scale quickly to meet market demand, and yet remain secure and compliant. They began searching for a managed services provider. They placed HITRUST certification as their number one requirement.
“We found the partner we were looking for in ClearDATA. It’s been a great collaboration,” said McIver. “Their comprehensive, extended BAA, hardened images, proven encryption solutions, resources to view compliance, HITRUST certification, and healthcare expertise were what we were looking for, all in one place,” said McIver. “I don’t have to have our team spending all of their time hardening images, patching the OS, and running and monitoring anti-virus and intrusion detection services now.” For the last couple of years CareCloud has used ClearDATA’s Container as a Service solution to run their code in test and production environments. “We use the ClearDATA portal and compliance dashboard to monitor the various infrastructure vulnerability scans, which also helps us with third party auditing which can be time intensive.” The combination of the Automated Safeguards and the Compliance Dashboard combined with ClearDATA’s staff of certified solution architects and engineers working in collaboration with the CareCloud team has freed up McIver’s team to lean into their business objectives. “Now our DevOps team can focus more on getting software solutions in test and production versus building compliance solutions. There’s a lot of peace of mind from both software engineering and DevOps knowing something can’t be errantly deployed in a non-compliant way thanks to the Automated Safeguards from ClearDATA,” said McIver.
Next Up: Kubernetes and the Move to Multi-Cloud
After several years on AWS, McIver intends to keep workloads on AWS, yet sees business advantages to making CareCloud a multi-cloud shop. Additionally, McIver wants to move from the Container as a Service model into Kubernetes, but as before, with managed services for security and compliance so his team is able to stay focused on R&D and the application of innovative technology to support the company’s ambulatory care clients.
“We look to be a multi-cloud shop. ClearDATA’s new multi-cloud Kubernetes offering allows my team to work with Kubernetes – the container of the future – across multiple clouds. This lets us be strategic when negotiating services, performance and pricing across cloud platforms. It also assures us that we will have the continuous 24/7 support and expertise ClearDATA has been providing us, which essentially allows us to increase the work our team of developers can successfully produce while dramatically reducing risk and errors. We’re excited about Kubernetes – it’s efficient, it’s fast and easy, and with ClearDATA, it’s secure. We have Automated Safeguards to help keep us in compliance, and the Compliance Dashboard for 24/7 visualization. This helps us meet our business objectives of modernizing and improving the patient experience. And, since ClearDATA went multi-cloud last year, we have our choice of platforms.”
In the last year, CareCloud continued to expand its client base with ambulatory care practices of all sizes, but most notably among larger, multi-specialty, multi-site groups needing an enterprise platform with deep cloud capabilities. The company’s most recent innovation, Breeze, has been embraced by ambulatory care providers looking to give patients a more modern and mobile, paperless experience and to seamlessly integrate medical, administrative and financial data collected from the patient into their CareCloud EHR and PM workflows.
And last September, CareCloud announced in a news release that they were joining the Google Cloud Technology Partner Program with a view to use Google’s Healthcare API to extend their interoperability, patient experience and practice management systems to ambulatory customers. “There are also a lot of exciting developments in machine learning across the public clouds,” said McIver. “With ClearDATA’s multi-cloud coverage we can innovate securely and scale efficiently to build a company that truly modernizes healthcare.” said McIver.